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Will 'The Hillary Papers' trash Clinton's presidential hopes?

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11 2014 11:45 a.m. MST

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in New Orleans in this Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 file photo.

Gerald Herbert, Associated Press

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On Monday, The Washington Free Beacon delivered a bundle of information on the onetime secretary of state Hillary Clinton, calling it “The Hillary Papers.” The article is drawn from archives of her closest friend, Diane Blair, a political science professor who died in 2000 of lung cancer, which many believe paints a portrait of a “ruthless” first lady.

Among the released papers were accounts on how the Clinton White House was extremely sensitive to perceptions about then-President Bill Clinton’s treatment of women and how Hillary was “tired of all those whiney women.”

With all this information circulating in the news media and possibly damaging Clinton’s 2016 prospects, “the Clinton team has a great incentive to focus on the future,” Alana Goodman wrote for the Free Beacon.

According to Debra Saunders, writing in Real Clear Politics, the next battle in the "war on the war on women" has arrived with the Free Beacon’s release of The Hillary Papers.

Saunders cited Sen. Rand Paul as accusing the Clinton White House of waging a war on women and Saunders agreed, saying, “He rightly pointed out the chasm between how Clinton Democrats treat women as an interest group and how they treat them as people.”

Similarly, the New York Times’ Amy Chozick said with the release of The Hillary Papers it will be difficult to “escape the scandal that rocked the late 1990s and led to Mr. Clinton’s impeachment.”

“The papers also underscore the tensions contained in Mrs. Clinton’s reaction to her husband’s infidelities,” Chozick wrote. “As first lady, she was viewed broadly as a champion of women’s equality, but, according to the Blair papers, she did not see her husband’s behavior toward Ms. Lewinsky as exploitation.”

However, others don't see much to worry about in the papers.

Time's Joe Klein believes that all of this is political theatre and it would be a shame if her run for the presidency is marred by Bill's transgressions.

"It would be profoundly sad if all this manure were dredged up yet again," Klein writes. "If Hillary Clinton does run for President, she should be examined carefully–as a public servant, not as a demonic caricature. She’s far better than that; I hope we are, too."

Still, many think this will have some sort of impact on the campaign, if there is one.

The Christian Science Monitor’s Peter Grier asked, “Is Clinton’s past a political danger?” Grier said if Clinton can’t put the past to rest, it may cost her the presidency.

Grier quoted Washington Post’s political expert Chris Cillizza as saying, “The biggest hurdle for Hillary Clinton as she contemplates another White House bid in 2016 can be effectively summed up by Timon, the meerkat from ‘The Lion King’: ‘You’ve got to put the past behind you.’”

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at:

eraymond@deseretdigital.com

@RaymondErik

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