Speaking of Hillary, Vogue's Jonathan van Meter traveled with the secretary of state and produced an interesting profile--he has good backstory on her decision to take the job: All of these hand-wringing calculations took place in the span of a few days, and for various reasons—those mentioned above, others known only to herself—Clinton wavered daily. This seesaw effect created what was described to me as a "boys against the girls" dynamic among her advisers.
The seventh floor of the U.S. State Department is a generally dreary place. Its employees roam hallways so long and confusing that they are color-coded for guidance. Fluorescent lights throw down a harsh hospital glare. But, to most State employees, the "real" seventh floor is a secure area, protected by armed guards and doors that require electronic keys, where the department's top staffers, including the secretary herself, spend their days.
I find this comment from Maggie Williams slightly mystifying: Maggie Williams, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, issued a statement saying the campaign was “thrilled with this near split in delegates.” I'm not sure why the Clinton camp would want to say anything that highlights the importance of pledged delegates. Doing so just confers legitimacy on a measure in which they have almost no hope of overtaking Obama. Hillary's only real hope at this point is to press her argument about winning large states important to the Democratic coalition.
The morning after is never pretty. In the wake of defeat in the Iowa caucus, it was a sad and sorry Team Hillary that assembled for a conference call with the candidate. Campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, in transit back to Washington, was absent. Top strategist Mark Penn was dazed and subdued, waiting for the candidate to come on the line. When she did, Hillary gave a brief greeting making clear that there would be no navel-gazing and that she was ready to look ahead, according to a participant in the call who was already on the ground in New Hampshire (desperately seeking guidance).
As we say our final farewells to the Patti era over at Team Hillary, I must admit that--despite the grumbling I had heard about her in recent weeks--I'm surprised she actually got shooed out of the top job. (Yeah. Yeah. I know the campaign insists the change was mostly her idea.) In my reporting on Hillaryland, I've always found the senior folks to be incredibly protective of Patti, as though she were everyone's favorite little sister. Part of this, say insiders, stemmed from Patti's proximity to the candidate--I mean, who wants to get caught talking smack about the boss's favorite?
LAST SUMMER, AS other potential 2008 presidential candidates were making their first sojourns to Iowa, Hillary Clinton did something a little different. She brought Iowa to Washington. In June, the senator, who is up for reelection this year but who has yet to draw a Republican challenger worth fretting about, entertained several key caucus-state activists and donors at her five-bedroom brick home on Embassy Row. Known to Hillary aides simply as Whitehaven, the 4,700-square-foot mansion is the site of the senator’s regular Washington fund-raisers and strategy sessions.