"hit Job On Me"

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JANUARY 24, 2008

"hit Job On Me"

A couple of times now Bill Clinton has complained about being the subject of a "a hit job" by the Obama campaign. But he's never been specific about what he means, and even an AP story today with "hit job" in the headline doesn't explain.

So I asked Clinton spokesman Phil Singer if he could specify what Bill was talking about. He sent me two examples. One was an email to reporters from an Obama campaign spokeswoman from last June which alleged that Bill had given a $100,000 speech in Hong Kong on September 11, 2006. (That charge turned out to be false)

Singer also sent this Obama oppo-research document, circulated around the same time, spotlighting Bill's financial ties to Ron Burkle and his Yucaipa investment fund.

Flipping through the Yucaipa oppo document now, I'm surprised the press hasn't pushed harder on Bill's dealings with the colorful billionaire mogul. (Not that it looks like Bill did anything wrong--but there are some interesting and complex business dealings there, including one involving Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa. The Times did examine the pairing, but almost two years ago.) Perhaps anticipating this, however, Bill has severed his ties to Burkle.

P.S. Midway through writing this item I discovered that Josh Gerstein was asking the same question this afternoon.

--Michael Crowley 

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