Hillary Fights On

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 23, 2008; 7:54 AM

Liberal bloggers are throwing tomatoes--and a lot worse--at Hillary Clinton.

She's never been a particularly popular figure in that part of the blogosphere, and now that she seems to be making a new push on Florida and Michigan, the former first lady has really got folks mad.

A few days ago, I thought the signal from Hillaryland was that she would soldier on through the June 3 primaries and then bow to the will of the superdelegates, who would most likely settle this thing in Obama's favor. A compromise would be worked out to seat the disputed delegations from the two states that moved up their primaries. But now the Clinton camp is taking a more aggressive stance on Florida and Michigan--even invoking the count-every-vote mantra of the 2000 recount in Florida -- and the endless campaign suddenly seems a little more endless.

The latest round comes as the MSM is in "What Does Hillary Want?" mode--that's the headline I keep seeing on cable shows--endlessly questioning whether she is plotting to be veep and deserves to be veep. I remember some hand-wringing over What Does Jesse Want when Jackson was making trouble for Michael Dukakis before the 1998 convention, but nothing like the psychodrama that this has become.

Underlying it all is a media narrative suggesting that Hillary should have folded her cards by now and is prolonging the agony for journalists who have grown sick of the process. Would that story line be as vivid if Hillary wasn't a woman, or, more importantly, if she wasn't a Clinton?

The Bubba Factor is back, big time, with this Karen Tumulty report in Time:

"In Bill Clinton's view, she has earned nothing short of an offer to be Obama's running mate, according to some who are close to the former President. Bill 'is pushing real hard for this to happen,' says a friend. Hillary is more opaque about what she might want, divulging little even to those who see and talk to her every day."

The NYT confirms the Time piece this way:

"The reports about Mr. Clinton's musings, which come from friends, surface as the Obama camp has quietly begun the process of choosing a running mate . . .

"Anyone who knows the Clintons is well aware that, at times, they come to politics with different motivations. Both of them want to return to the White House; Mrs. Clinton, of New York, also enjoys being a senator, while Mr. Clinton, according to associates, sees the vice presidency as perhaps her best path to becoming president someday if she loses the nominating fight. And Mr. Clinton has his own ideas about his wife's best interests -- even if she sometimes does not share them."

As for the liberal disdain I mentioned, the New Republic's Jonathan Chait serves up a heaping dish, starting with FL and MI:

"It's obviously true that Obama not campaigning, organizing, or advertising in those states hurt him, and helped the more familiar candidate in Clinton. She decided to campaign to change the rules only after it became her interest to do so.


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