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December 31, 2014

Why Is Team Hillary Going Thug on Jim Webb So "Comically Early" in the Nomination Process?

So asks Jim Garaghty, as Team Old Lady attacks Jim Webb.

Assume, for a moment, that U.S. News & World Report is accurately reporting this:
While they aren't acknowledging [2016 Democratic candidate Jim] Webb publicly, Clinton loyalists are keeping an eye on him privately. The week before Thanksgiving, staffers of Philippe Reines, Clinton’s longtime communications guru, pitched talk radio producers on the racy, sexually charged writings in Webb's novels, according to a source. Webb was forced to fend off a similar attack in 2006, when [his Virginia Senate opponent] Allen accused him of "demeaning women."

...

Why on earth would the Hillary team go after Jim Webb this early? And why recycle an attack that had absolutely no impact when it was used in the 2006 Senate race? What is this, some form of mudslinging pregame stretching?

...

The early shot across Webb’s bow is a strange response, considering how Hillary, with enormous advantages in fundraising, organizational experience, and name ID, would be much better off with multiple Democratic primary opponents instead of one.

Geraghty offers that this is driven by Hillary's paranoia, noting that she's the only presidential candidate who, rather than an enemies list, has an enemies spreadsheet, with Disloyalty Level neatly scored from 1 to 7.

Jonah Goldberg has a different theory: Hillary didn't do this at all. Rather, Hillary has crowded around her a group of vicious hounds who know that it is necessary to bloody the quarry to please the hunting-mistress.

[M]y point is that attacking Clinton's enemies is how you get noticed in her world. It's how you prove your loyalty. It's how Sidney Blumenthal slithered into Hillary's heart when he was working for her pro bono as a journalist and when he went on her payroll. Similarly, it's very unlikely Hillary Clinton pre-approves much of anything put out by Media Matters, but she doesn't need to. She’s created an infrastructure. The incentives are in place. The culture exists. It’s a bit analogous to Lois Lerner at the IRS. She didn’t need to be told by the White House to target conservative groups. She simply knew what she had to do. Clinton Inc has a corporate culture, and in that culture messengers get shot (metaphorically speaking), offense is the only defense and loyalty trumps all.

Among the many challenges for Clinton is to figure out how to rein-in the culture she spent nearly 30 years creating.

Why would she rein it in? She's a nasty old, elderly bird and she takes pleasure in seeing her "enemies" punished.


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posted by Ace at 05:36 PM

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