September 18, 2013 | by Peter Rosenstein
Our fascination with everything Hillary
Hillary Clinton, Department of State, GLIFAA, Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, gay news, Washington Blade

Hillary Clinton supporters are counting the days until her presumed 2016 campaign announcement. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

I have a fascination with Hillary Clinton and have admired her since I first met her in 1990. Today it’s clear that that fascination is pretty universal and media outlets across the nation understand that putting her on the front pages and featuring numerous stories about her even in the midst of the chaotic situation in the world today will continue to sell newspapers.

On Sunday, Sept. 15 there were two papers delivered to my door, the Washington Post and the New York Times. The Times had a story about Hillary on the front page and the Post had one on page A2. The Daily Beast had one as well. Each of the stories talks about her yet-unannounced presidential campaign. And remember that it’s less than eight months since President Obama was sworn in for his second term.

Many of us are watching the news and hoping that President Obama will be successful in his efforts to succeed in ridding Syria of chemical weapons and averting getting the U.S. involved in a war there. What may be happening today is the realization of the hopes and dreams so many placed in what we believed to be the president’s vision of the world when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before having done anything to earn it. We believed that he would do everything he could to keep the world safe without resorting to military action.

It’s nice to know that the Times has already assigned a full-time reporter to cover her every move. I am sure that Amy Chozick will be looking to get many more front-page stories out of this beat. This also isn’t the first column that Dan Balz of the Post has written on Hillary and she will provide him with many more columns and the Post with many more chances to use nearly quarter page pictures of her. (I’ve written a few columns on Hillary myself.)

The Post is following the story of Jeffrey Thompson and U.S. Attorney Ron Machen’s efforts to find something to indict D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray with. Thus far it appears that Machen hasn’t found anything in his nearly three years of looking. But Jeffrey Thompson is now providing the Post with a continuing story and Machin has uncovered a connection to the Hillary 2008 campaign. The first Post story, though not till toward the end of nearly a full page, said there doesn’t seem to be anything to connect Thompson to Hillary directly or to anything the campaign did illegally. Balz seems to confirm that conclusion in his Sunday column. But then the Post in its first column used a picture of Hillary instead of Thompson with the story since they felt it would attract more attention and the Balz column, which only incidentally mentions the Thompson story, uses a great picture of Hillary in Scotland receiving an honorary degree from St. Andrews University.

The Times story by Chozick is about Clinton and Biden’s friendship and how there have been some awkward moments. She writes that, “In December 2011, pollsters working for President Obama’s re-election campaign asked voters in battleground states a question: Would you be more likely to vote for Mr. Obama if Hillary Rodham Clinton were to campaign for him?” She goes on to write, “Of course, Mrs. Clinton, if she remained Secretary of State, could not participate in a political campaign. So the poll, and the former first lady’s popularity, only intensified speculation that Mr. Obama was considering moving Mrs. Clinton onto his ticket replacing Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.” A lot of old speculation rehashed but it did reach the level of a front-page story.

We are in for a continued stream of stories about Hillary that will dissect everything she does or says until she finally declares that she will run — and I think she will. Between Ready for Hillary with its now nearly one million supporters and Priorities,USA the Super PAC that raised money for Obama now retooling to raise funds for Hillary, everything will be ready for her announcement.

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