Hillary's Selective Hearing

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THE PLANK JULY 30, 2008

Hillary's Selective Hearing

The WaPo has a piece about the political "free fall" of one-time Hillary confidante Patti Solis Doyle. It's a sad read, recounting all the harsh stuff about how Hillary canned her via email, how the two women haven't spoken since, how Solis Doyle wound up taking the primary scapegoat for the campaign's failure, and how many Hillary devotees viciously savaged the Obama Team for hiring Patti. (Grievous insult to Hil, it seems.)

But here's what caught my eye:

Privately, she has told confidants that she is "disappointed" in Solis Doyle and regrets her decision to put her closest aide in the top campaign job. "I put her in a job she was incapable of performing," one Clinton intimate quotes her as saying recently. "I'm out there killing myself... thinking a process exists, and no one said, 'The emperor has no clothes.'"

Except...Pretty much everyone had told Hillary--repeatedly--that the emperor was ill-equipped to run a presidential campaign long before that campaign kicked off. Just in my reporting, I was told of multiple attempts by Clinton intimates to warn Hillary that putting Patti is charge would be a disaster. And we're talking inner-circle Hillarylanders here, like Terry McAuliffe, Maggie Williams, Evelyn Lieberman, Cheryl Mills.... (Many of whom pop up in today's article as having clashed with Patti once the campagin was underway.) It was equally clear that Bill Clinton had little faith in Patti's abilities--and was hardly heartbroken when her star began to fall.   

So while I still feel bad for how things turned out for Hillary, I find her smack talk about Solis Doyle either disingenuous or delusional. I mean, exactly how many of her closest advisers would have needed to warn her time and again of Patti's shortcomings before the message sank in?

Before Hil attempts another big career move, it seems her listening skills--and perhaps her judgment--could use a little work.

--Michelle Cottle 

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