A Week She’d Rather Forget

This is a week Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is looking forward to putting behind her. First it was the leaked memo on her weak standing in Iowa and whether or not she should potentially decide to skip the caucuses rather than risk losing them. Needless to say, the break-in at the Fort Knox of Clinton campaign discipline was quite newsworthy and managed to completely overshadow a healthcare speech she gave Wednesday. Then yesterday Clinton had to bow to the anti-war left and vote against the supplemental war-funding bill, a sacrifice to her general election strategy she will not be rewarded for. Today The Washington Post is carrying a story about two new Hillary books by credible reporters — one by Carl Bernstein and another by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta — that drag back all the dirt Clinton’s voracious scrubbing has kept at bay all these years.

The authors write about Clinton’s refusal to allow Bill to leave her for a longtime girlfriend and that in spite she considered running for governor of Arkansas to succeed him. The plan didn’t last long, according to Bernstein’s book, because The Hill columnist and blogger Dick Morris polled the voters and found Arkansans weren’t interested. They also write that Clinton decided on a run for president two decades ago.

Clinton has trouble with voters today, according to a column out today by Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director. Todd attended a focus group last week in Baltimore in which 12 diverse voters chose the “fresh” and “new” candidacies of Rudy Giuliani and Barack Obama over experience, with Clinton scoring quite low with them. Eight of the 12 voters said they could not support her under any circumstances, seven of the 12 said she had the furthest to go in terms of winning their trust, and the only positive adjective used to describe her was “determined.”

For Clinton, inevitability is the foundation of her candidacy. Without it she is vulnerable to the fact that people don’t like her, and the anti-war wing of her party doesn’t entirely trust her evolution on Iraq. Now that people will be talking again about Bill’s girlfriends and the brazen political plans (governor of Arkansas and president of the United States) that Hillary Clinton has hatched during years of marital turmoil, she better get back to being unstoppable so that Democrats feel they simply have to elect her no matter how unseemly the Clintons appear.