Washington Post Gets Hosed By The Clintons

December 13th, 2007 11:42 AM

The Washington Post might consider doing something I hesitate to recommend to anyone before they simply print campaign talking points in covering an admittedly negative situation. That something is, read the New York Times. The narrative for the piece, sourced through Clinton people, is pretty clear. Hillary don't know Iowa, it was a national campaign - but "Hillary" figured it out and saved the day ... hopefully for them, at least.

Still, her initial strategy did not put special emphasis on the caucuses, treating them as part of a national campaign.

The chief concern, one person with immediate knowledge of the campaign said, was that Clinton simply did not visit Iowa enough over the summer and early fall -- a common complaint in national campaigns

It was not until October that senior officials at Clinton headquarters realized there was something of a disconnect between the candidate and the sentiments of participants in Iowa's quirky system, two campaign insiders said. And it was Clinton who sounded the alarm bell, they said.

"She got it before anybody else, and she dragged them kicking and screaming to take it seriously and to focus," said one person who has worked for both Clintons.

Such leadership and foresight, why it's almost presidential. Now back up to January of 2007 via the New York Times and see what really happened. Despite considerable focus on Iowa, driven by Clinton herself, they flubbed it up. Oh, but they would have you believe she can run something like a war, right? The New York Times made her look good going in and now the Washington Post bails her out. The Clintons and the media ... perfect together.

In Meetings With Allies, Clinton Hones ’08 Strategy

The participants said that she considered Mr. Obama as her biggest obstacle to the nomination, but that she believed the threat of his candidacy would diminish as voters learned how inexperienced he was in government and foreign affairs.

Mrs. Clinton has gone to great lengths to try to keep these meetings private. She and her aides have strongly asked Democrats not to report what has taken place there....

Still, several Democrats were willing to share what they described as long discussions about politics and policy with a former first lady who wants to be president.

Jeanne Shaheen, the former New Hampshire governor and Mr. Shaheen’s wife, said that Mrs. Clinton had consulted her, as well, and that she had asked “all the right kinds of questions.”

“She clearly is thinking about what to do, and not taking anything for granted,” said Mrs. Shaheen

Mrs. Clinton has talked, in person or by telephone, to influential Democrats in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, the states that will have caucuses or primaries a year from now. She has pressed Democrats to find out what campaign staffs prospective opponents like Mr. Edwards have assembled in states like Iowa. And she has asked precisely where she should go in places like Iowa and New Hampshire if, as expected, she does a round of trips there after forming an exploratory committee.

No detail has been too minor. Mrs. Clinton has asked Democrats from New Hampshire and Iowa about the concerns in certain regions, and even counties, dwelling on energy issues, health care, education and the war in Iraq. She has asked about the influence of independent voters)....