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Posted: 6/21/2003 12:23:38 AM EDT
Every day that goes by I'm more convinced that these two are going to be at the heart of battle between those that support a Constitutional Republic and those that want to lead this nation into a Socialist hell-hole. [url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17534-2003Jun20.html?nav=hptop_tb[/url] Two Years After White House Exit, Clintons Shaping Democratic Party By Jim VandeHei Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, June 21, 2003; Page A01 Thirty months after leaving the White House draped in controversy, the Clintons are again dominating Democratic politics in Washington and beyond. Former president Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) are grabbing headlines almost daily, raising millions of dollars for Democratic campaigns and doling out political advice to all who will listen, which includes most of the leading candidates to challenge President Bush in 2004. The Clintons are easily the hottest draws for political events and fundraising appeals, much more so than the party's nine presidential candidates and two congressional leaders, according to several party officials. At the same time, top officials from the Clinton administration are taking, or tightening, control over several of the party's most influential political groups. Some of the most notable former Clinton aides and advisers -- John D. Podesta, Bruce Reed, Mike Lux, Harold Ickes and others -- are playing prominent roles in key think tanks and new fundraising ventures. They provide the former first family with continued sources of power to tap now and in the future -- perhaps in 2008, when many expect Hillary Clinton to run for president. Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-N.J.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said the Clintons are creating an "extension" of what they started during "their days in the White House." He should know: Hillary Clinton has emerged as one of the DSCC's best fundraisers, and the former president told Corzine he'll pitch in soon. "He will be very helpful," Corzine said . Hillary Clinton, who has raised as much as $500,000 a pop at fundraisers at the couple's house in the District, is planning to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars for fellow Democratic senators during her national book tour. The Clinton resurgence is getting mixed reviews from the party faithful. Many Democrats who had worried that the Clinton scandals would haunt the party until the first couple vanished from the political scene now openly embrace the two. While Democrats, in general, have failed to capitalize on mounting job losses and other economic problems under Bush, the Clintons are getting renewed credit and respect within the party for the boom years that marked Bill Clinton's second term. Since he left office, the stock market has dropped while budget deficits and unemployment numbers have soared. "The farther away we get from the [Clinton] presidency, the more the focus is on the substantive accomplishments," said Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.). "It's getting far easier to not only associate with, but embrace the former president and the senator." Washington's two most Clinton-friendly institutions are the Senate -- where Hillary Clinton has impressed many colleagues with her work ethic and fundraising prowess -- and the Democratic National Committee, where the former president remains a major force. Still, some Democrats want the Clintons to go away. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently did focus groups around the country with Democratic-leaning voters and found widespread resentment of both Clintons, according to a Democratic aide familiar with surveys conducted in several cities. Many focus group participants called the former president "immoral, smooth, crooked" and dishonest, the aide said, while Hillary Clinton was seen as an "opportunist." "It gives us a brand we just don't need," the aide said. "The rehashing of the negatives is something we all wish would go away," said Sen. John Breaux (D-La.). But the Clintons "clearly have the ability to excite people, probably more than anyone else in the party." Some Republicans seize on the Clintons' unpopularity to raise money for their political efforts. Senate Republicans have a "Stop Hillary Now" link on their Web site. Other GOP leaders, however, say the Clintons' most negative legacies -- including the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal -- are losing some of their bite. "In time, things fade," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). "Senator Clinton has done a very good job of rehabilitating them." Hillary Clinton -- who is taking her turn as the family's public face and political force -- is widely expected to play a leading role in next year's presidential and Senate campaigns. She is promoting her best-selling book "Living History" and hitting up donors with energy and stagecraft reminiscent of a national campaign. The newspaper Roll Call recently reported that the DSCC has arranged for the senator to host at least seven Democratic fundraisers before August, all coordinated with her book tour. While Hillary Clinton remains one of the most divisive figures in contemporary politics, polls routinely show she could jump into the crowded Democratic presidential field tomorrow as the frontrunner. Many believe she is preparing for a run in 2008, soon enough to satisfy her ambitions, long enough for bad memories of family scandals to fade, at least partially. A family friend said there is little doubt she will run in 2008 if Bush wins reelection. Hillary Clinton might face a challenge from another Clinton White House figure. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the Clinton administration's energy secretary, was in town this week privately sounding like he would run in '08, according a Democratic official. Bill Clinton remains deeply involved in party politics, too, although he has told congressional leaders he will spend most of this year raising money for his presidential library, giving paid speeches and finishing his book. He speaks frequently with Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence McAuliffe and advises presidential candidates and congressional leaders on strategy. "They smartly call for advice," said McAuliffe. A Clinton friend said he thinks the former president and Arkansas governor might run for mayor of New York in 2006. The DNC recently sent out its first fundraising plea of the year signed by the former president. And DCCC Chairman Robert T. Matsui (Calif.) sent him a list of House seats the Democrats are targeting for 2004, hoping Clinton will help raise money for the effort.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 12:24:11 AM EDT
The Clintons will have several new conduits for power soon. Podesta, the final chief of staff in the Clinton White House, is launching what many Democrats predict will become the most influential think tank on the left -- the American Majority Institute. A top Democratic official said Hillary Clinton has been intimately involved in creating the group, although it is designed to benefit the entire party. The Clintons already have strong ties to another key party organization, the Democratic Leadership Council. The former president ran as a DLC candidate and remains closely associated with the politically centrist organization. Bruce Reed, director of domestic policy in the Clinton White House, runs the DLC and its Progress and Prosperity Project, which it bills as "developing the next generation of New Democratic ideas." Harold Ickes, a top political aide in the Clinton White House, is talking to donors about raising tens of millions of dollars for next year's presidential nominee. "Those of us who know about it just refer to it as the 'media fund,' " said Ickes. Campaign finance laws prohibit Hillary Clinton from helping Ickes, but the former president can help raise money for the group, which many officials expect him to do. Ickes also works closely with Mike Lux, another former political adviser in the Clinton White House, who is running American Family Voices, a group planning to weigh in on policy fights this summer and fall with television commercials. "The Clintons are supportive of a lot of these efforts that are being developed, but it's not centered on them or driven by them," said Lux.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 1:02:49 AM EDT
F*** the Clintoons. I can't believe the shit they can pull off. It is so sad, but reality is that the US will get exactly what we deserve/elect.
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