Hardball

Poison Penn

Since I'm already reopening old wounds from the Democratic primary, I might as well reopen another. In December of 2007, Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn, went on television and seemed to go out of his way to use the word "cocaine" as often as possible. Some Obama supporters objected to the tactic. This objection, in turn, became one of the Clinton defenders' favorite examples of the baseless suspicions to which her campaign was being subjected.

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The Crying Game

Manchester, New Hampshire The reporters covering Hillary Clinton first knew she would win the New Hampshire primary around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, when a beaming Terry McAuliffe walked into the press filing center in a Manchester gymnasium bearing the news. A few nights earlier, a very different McAuliffe had been standing on an Iowa stage just after it became clear Hillary would place third in the caucuses. Then he had looked strained and tired, casting worried glances at his BlackBerry.

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Hillary's War

In October 2000, Hillary Clinton was entering the home stretch of one of the most unusual Senate campaigns in American history. Although her husband still occupied the Oval Office, she had decamped to a Dutch Colonial in Westchester County to run for the seat of retiring New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan. To compensate for the fact that she had never actually lived in the state she intended to represent, she immersed herself in Empire State minutiae. Off the top of her head, she would describe in detail the virtues of the Northeast dairy compact and the rate of upstate job growth.

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Missing Linc

Twenty-five years before he became the most unlikely star in the U.S. Senate, Lincoln Chafee was a shaggy-haired nomad, fresh from a drug-enhanced stint at Brown University, shoeing horses at harness racetracks in the United States and Canada. His father, Senator John Chafee, may have been a titan of Rhode Island politics, but Linc, as he is known, had little interest in the family business. It wasn't until he grew bored with the private sector--he was working as a manager in a steel mill at the time--that he decided to enter public life.

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