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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 12, 2010

MUTED REACTION TO NEW BOOK MAY REFLECT END OF THE CLINTON SAGA

Ben Smith, Politico - What's notable about the highly publicized release of "Game Change," however, is the virtual silence from the Clinton camp. The lack of public outrage seems to mark the sputtering end of what was once known as the Clinton political machine and underlines a fact that onetime Clinton loyalists acknowledge: The book's primary sources about the former candidate and current secretary of state are her own former staffers and intimates.

As a result, there is no campaign of veteran Clintonites spinning the press corps and trying to pre-emptively discredit the book's scathing depiction of Hillary Clinton as a rudderless candidate and a cheerleader for vicious tactics against eventual winner Barack Obama. There is no team of Clinton proxies going on cable television to denounce authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann as scurrilous and unworthy of belief.

This time, Bill and Hillary Clinton are virtually alone.

While the low-key response to a brutal portrayal of Clinton in part reflected a decision to keep a prominent face of the Obama administration's foreign policy above the fray, it was also a recognition of reality: The same senior aides who had leaked damaging gossip could hardly be expected to rebut it.

These people have violated the Clinton world's final taboo: After savaging one another in the press for more than a year, the former aides finally turned on the principals.

"Game Change" peels back a decade of careful renovations off Hillary Clinton's carefully constructed public face, casting her in the terms that defined her at her lows in the mid-1990s: scheming, profane, sometimes paranoid, often tone-deaf.

The authors report that Clinton and her aides plotted behind allies' backs to enter the 2004 presidential contest and that Clinton herself favored some of the nastiest tactics, such as suggesting that then-Sen. Barack Obama had been a drug dealer, in the 2008 campaign. And she continued to believe - without evidence, and long after her concession - that he had, in effect, stolen the Iowa caucuses by importing out-of-state voters.

Her husband, the former president, is depicted as canny, but flawed as ever: making key errors, as has been widely reported, in South Carolina, and raising his own aides' suspicions that he was reprising the extramarital wanderings that exploded during his presidency. . .

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1 Comments:

Anonymous robbie said...

I think the phrase you're looking for is "done to death" If only a fraction of the attention paid to the Clintons was focused instead on the Bush family, things might be a bit different.

January 13, 2010 11:19 PM  

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