Skip to comments.Republicans launch twin attacks to stop Hillary's return to the White House
Posted on 04/16/2005 6:14:47 PM PDT by MadIvan
Senior Republican activists have launched two high-profile campaigns aimed at sabotaging Senator Hillary Clinton's hopes of an elected return to the White House - even though the next presidential contest is three and a half years away.
It was also revealed last week that Mrs Clinton is to be the unwilling subject of a book in the autumn which will reportedly contain explosive revelations from her time as First Lady. The book, The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President, is being written by Ed Klein, a best-selling biographer and the scourge in print of the Kennedy clan.
The ratcheting-up of "Stop Hillary" operations reflects a grudging acknowledgement among Republicans that Mrs Clinton, long regarded as an unreformed liberal out of touch with the country's political mood, has been carefully staking out middle-of-the-road positions on issues such as abortion and immigration.
Both the Republican fund-raising initiatives are initially targeted at defeating Mrs Clinton when she runs next year for a second term in the Senate. Their organisers, however, make little secret of the fact that they are hoping to deal a crippling blow to a leading frontrunner for the Democrat nomination for the 2008 White House race.
"Stopping Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most important thing you and I can do as Republicans in the next two years," wrote Stephen Minarik, the New York Republican Party chairman.
"You could say it's our duty as Republicans," he said, launching the nationwide "Stop Hillary Now" campaign in a four-page letter to potential backers. They would establish a "truth squad" to "expose her lies", he promised.
In the other fundraising initiative, Arthur Finkelstein - a veteran, if reclusive, Republican strategist - is canvassing donors for a new advocacy group, "Stop Her Now", which aims to raise $10 million to fund advertising and media assaults on the New York senator.
Since Mr Bush's re-election in November, Mrs Clinton has tried to reinvent herself as a politician who would be more acceptable in the American heartlands which carried the President back to power.
She has railed against illegal immigration, moderated her public statements on abortion rights and backed American military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although her voting record places her firmly on the liberal wing of the Democratic party, recent opinion polls suggest that her new political look is winning support.
Many American conservatives, however, retain a visceral contempt for the Clintons, fuelled by their frustration that the president and his wife survived a series of scandals including the Whitewater financial affair and the impeachment proceedings over Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern.
Mrs Clinton is such a polarising figure that there will be little difficulty in soliciting funds for her followers, or her foes. When she launched her own fundraising campaign recently, she told supporters that she was "the number-one target for the Right-wing attack machine", although she insists she is not looking beyond her Senate campaign.
Crucially, New York Republicans have yet to find a strong contender to fight Mrs Clinton next year. Their two biggest local names, Rudi Giuliani, the former mayor, and Governor George Pataki, have counted themselves out. Party chiefs are concerned that a strong Clinton victory in 2006 would bolster her momentum for White House run in 2008.
In a clear signal of how the Republicans intend to attack Mrs Clinton, Mr Minarik's letter described her as a "radical liberal" or "ultraliberal", called her the "darling of the wealthy liberal Left - especially the Hollywood Left" and referred to her "vast network of far-Left contributors".
Mr Finkelstein played a key role in turning "liberal" into a dirty word in American politics when representing politicians such as Jesse Helms, the ultra-conservative North Carolina senator. He has also advised Benjamin Netanyahu, the former Right-wing Israeli prime minister.
It is understood that Mr Finkelstein hopes to repeat the successful formula used by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during last year's presidential campaign.
The pressure group of Vietnam veterans unleashed a series of fierce attacks on John Kerry's war record, fatally undermining the Democratic candidate's challenge to President Bush.
Bill Clinton, the former president and now vocal supporter of his wife's political aspirations, flew to her defence last week after it emerged that Mr Finkelstein, 59, had recently married his male partner in a civil ceremony in Massachusetts.
Referring to the Republicans' use of the same-sex marriage issue to mobilise conservative voters, Mr Clinton said: "Either this guy believes his party is not serious and he's totally Machiavellian, or he may be blinded by self-loathing."
It is not just the Republicans who are concerned about the Clinton bandwagon. John Edwards, the defeated Democrat candidate for vice-president last year who is touring key states in his own barely-veiled drive for the 2008 nomination, observed in a recent interview: "I think talking about a front-runner four years before an election is ridiculous."
So now opposing a political candidate is considered sabotage?
I guess all those dems tried to sabotage W's re-election bid.
She's such a flip-flop like Kerry.
god, i just cannot take another 4 years of the clintons.
down is up, up is down.
This far out of an election, it doesn't really matter that we don't have anyone, does it?
The economy? Please.
You worry too much. Enjoy life. Hillary will not be president.
Ed Klein had better watch his back. And he had certainly better stay out of Fort Marcy Park.
Hillary Rodham has been positioning herself for the Presidency since see hooked up with Bill eventhough the presidential contest was over 20 years away.
And I thought all this time that the impeachment was about perjury and obstruction of justice.
My only fear is that they are starting this too early. Even if every bad thing came out about her in the book, the liberals will call it lies and she will have 3 years to recover and 'correct' those lies.
I think Al Gore and Kerry are running again. Clinton may want VP, from where she could go for Uno after 4 or 8 years.
If Americans wouldn't take a chance with Kerry, they certainly won't take a chance with Hillary. I see the MSM making the same mistakes they've made for years--they think her popularity in New York and Los Angeles means she's a shoe-in.
Not to mention the strongest anti-HRC group. Forget soccer moms or whatever--the Heterosexual Men will be the decisive voting block in 2008.
Careful now....squeaky wheel gets the oil per se !
She's already running as a victim IMO. Lets not do this cunning little runt any favors with nothing less than facts and physical evidence. This nation won't survive a Clintonista regime again.
If the Republicans are seriously worried about Hillary in the WH, they are in bad shape.
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