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GOP Hunts for Controversy in ‘The Hillary Papers’

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Posted on Feb 11, 2014

Chatham House (CC-BY)

The GOP isn’t taking any chances when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run for the White House, which seems all the more inevitable the more people call it inevitable.

Another reliable sign is when the adversarial media onslaught kicks into high gear, which is now definitely happening with regard to Clinton and her foes (though there’s little doubt she has singlehandedly kept a steady army of opposition researchers busy for decades).

The Washington Free Beacon reported Sunday about an archive of purportedly incriminating writings by the late Diane Blair, a friend of the Clintons’, that were stored at the University of Arkansas, where Blair had taught political science. By Monday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had picked up the scent of sensationalism, and GOP.com splashed out the details of Blair’s guarded archive.

Hence, the Hillary Papers. Here we see the makings of an attempted takedown of an undeclared hypothetical candidate—and so far there’s not much to see here, but The Christian Science Monitor went looking anyway Tuesday:

“I think we’re going to have a truckload of opposition research on Hillary Clinton, and some things may be old and some things might be new. But I think everything is at stake when you’re talking about the leader of the free world and who we’re going to give the keys to run the United States of America,” Mr. Priebus told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC.

Much of the initial coverage of this material has focused on Mrs. Clinton’s judgment of Monica Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony tune” and on a 1992 memo from Clinton pollsters, which asserted that the qualities voters deemed slick in Bill Clinton they judged “ruthless” in his wife.

But the RNC has mined the papers for a health-care nugget, which they’ve already featured in an attack on the unofficial front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

In her notes, Ms. Blair at one point writes that Mrs. Clinton thought a “managed competition” approach to health-care reform was a “crock” and that a “single payer,” government-run system might be superior.

The 2014 elections are anything but sewn up, and political years are even shorter than dog years—campaigns surge and drop according to spin, whim, a dash of public interest here and there and a whiplash-inducing news cycle.

But the ongoing and apparently unrelenting saga of Hillary Clinton and the GOP is a story with remarkable staying power. In other words, it’s going to be a long couple of years. 

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

 

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