Just What Hillary Didn't Want to See

You're Hillary Clinton [work with me here] tuning into "Today" the morning after you've voted against funding the Iraq war . What's the one image you dread seeing pop up? But there it was.

This isn't shaping up as Hillary's favorite day. As the Washington Post reports here, two books about Clinton have hit the shelves, and neither paint a flattering portrait of the former First Lady. What's more, Hillary won't be able to blame this one on the VRWC. The authors are, respectively, the very lefty Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, and a pair of New York Times reporters.

But while the Hillary camp is surely less than thrilled about those books, my sense is that in the long run, her candidacy has more to fear from being stuck with the dreaded Kerry flip-flop label. Imagine the paroxysms of pain for the Hillary camp while watching this morning's "Today." Discussing Hillary's 'no' vote on Iraq funding, the NBC show broke out the dreaded footage of Kerry's "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

View video here.

NBC correspondent Chip Reids narrated the segment, and as the Kerry footage rolled, said this:
CHIP REID: Perhaps no one felt the competing pressures more intensely than senators and Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. For them a vote against funding would bring condemnation from Republicans for not supporting the troops. And especially for Clinton who initially voted for the war, charges of flip-flopping that could hurt her in the general election in the same way votes on funding bills hurt John Kerry in 2004.
"Today" aired a graphic of Hillary explaining her vote, which began with her assertion "I fully support our troops."
Concluded REID: Their votes do have long-term risks, but in the short-term should help appease those anti-war activists.
Let's review: Hillary has flip-flopped in a manner that -- even for an MSM outlet like NBC -- evokes Kerry's $87 billion. In defending her vote Clinton claims to support the troops. It's just that she wants to cut off the funds that will let them survive and fight. How bad things were for Hillary? Reid's concluding comment about Hillary having appeased certain groups was offered as the positive upshoot of her vote!

It's enough to make Hillary long for some relatively positive stories. You know, stuff about her cattle futures and the rediscovered Rose law firm billing records.

Aside: my favorite frame from the Kerry $87 billion flip-flop footage has always been the one I've displayed here, for the image of ineffable horror on the seated veteran's face.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.