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Posted by on Nov 5, 2007 in Politics | 1 comment

It Has Been A Tough Week For Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton

But one prominent blogger today has come out and endorsed her early on — in THIS INTRIGUING POST that goes into great detail as to why he feels she makes sense — and why he feels the arguments used against her just don’t hold up.

And how is the week beginning for Ms. Clinton?

With a slew of stories that suggest she’ll remain pitchforked into the news and could be entering a perilous phase, in terms of media cover. Some of the stories:

–“Bruised Clinton starts fightback after accusations of secrecy” via The Guardian:

Hillary Clinton fired up her political machine last night in an attempt to prevent lasting damage from the most traumatic week yet for the Democratic frontrunner.

In a rare unscripted exchange with reporters, Mrs Clinton sought to deflect charges that she is overly secretive about her role as First Lady and evasive on her political views. “There’s been some misunderstanding and some misrepresentation about what the facts are,” she told reporters in Iowa.

The push, with comments from Mrs Clinton and a high-profile endorsement from Walter Mondale, a former vice-president, followed a weekend in which she dominated political commentary and television chatshows. Unfortunately for her, it was not because of her political acumen but because of charges that she is calculating and has blocked the release of papers from her husband Bill Clinton’s eight years in the White House.

Mrs Clinton suffered her first real stumble last week in what has otherwise been a near flawless campaign. First, she turned in a poor performance in a candidates’ debate, a forum she has dominated, by flip-flopping on whether she favours issuing drivers’ licences to illegal immigrants. Then her campaign strategists mishandled her recovery with a clumsy play for the support of women voters by accusing her male opponents of ganging up on her. The miscalculation turned the debate performance into a double fault.

But a Newsweek poll at the weekend showed Mrs Clinton with a clear lead over her rivals, with 43% support from Democrats compared with 24% for Barack Obama and 12% for John Edwards.

The New Yorker:

On two of the matters about which Clinton was harried in last week’s debate—her White House records and New York State’s current controversy over driver’s licenses for undocumented workers, a.k.a. illegal aliens—her opponents saw a tactical opening and lunged for it. Fair enough. Still, her sins in these matters are as minor as their penumbras are large. The torpor of ex-Presidential paper processing is mostly due to rules changes dictated by the present Administration, which have slowed the Reagan Library’s response time to Freedom of Information Act requests, for example, from a year and a half to six and a half years.

But the kerfuffle is a reminder of the former First Lady’s long-ago stubbornness about releasing her (perfectly harmless) Rose Law Firm records, thus stoking the (perfectly bogus) Whitewater “scandal.” More broadly, it conjures up the baggage which would accompany the return of the Clinton marital drama to the White House stage.

If she had been prepared for the driver’s-license question, as she should have been, she might have pointed out that seven states now issue licenses regardless of immigration status, that doing so actually improves security with respect to terrorism (because applicants must produce a passport or other proof of identity as well as proof of residence in the state), and that the New York proposal has been amended to allow the undocumented to obtain a driver’s certificate that cannot be used for federal identification purposes, as in boarding airplanes. Instead, she waffled. She was right to argue that the states have been left to cope with the detritus of President Bush’s failed immigration reform. But driver’s licenses for the undocumented is a perilous issue for Democrats, tailor-made for nativist demagoguery.

Radio Iowa News:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton plans to deliver two policy speeches in Iowa this week outlining her views on climate change and the energy crisis. This past weekend during an interview with Radio Iowa, Clinton said the U.S. should generate much more electricity from alternative sources like wind turbines.

“But when I look at other countries that are availing themselves of wind (power) and thereby reducing their dependence on foreign oil and the amount of money that they send out of their country to regimes that may not be friendly to them, I don’t see why we’re not doing more,” Clinton said. “We’re not because we don’t have any leadership. We’re not organized to. We haven’t done the public education around it, but I’m going to be laying out a very comprehensive approach as to how I think we could.”

Clinton is scheduled to visit a wind turbine plant in Cedar Rapids later this morning and she’ll speak in Newton tomorrow about renewable energy.

The New York Times has a ‘political memo’ discussing the issue of sexism in how Ms. Clinton is treated — and how her camp uses the issue politically to her advantage against her opponents (a kind of reverse sexism):

A critical question in this campaign — how to run against a female presidential candidate, or as one — has burst into the foreground in the aftermath of a Democratic debate last week at which Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was repeatedly challenged by her rivals and the event’s questioners.

A critical question in this campaign — how to run against a female presidential candidate, or as one — has burst into the foreground in the aftermath of a Democratic debate last week at which Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was repeatedly challenged by her rivals and the event’s questioners.

The good news and bad news for Ms. Clinton: the media is now going full blast into a cycle of stories about her. Expect it to continue — with some good stories and perhaps some bad or sensational ones.

Media stories follow a cycle: the rising candidate, the front-runner candidate, the front-runner stumbles, the front-runner does something to greatly damage his/her campaign (or an investigative piece comes out), the front-runner is gone or rises again.

She’s in front-runner candidate mode, slipping into front-runner stumbles.

With more cycles likely to come.