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Richelieu: A Wing and a Prayer

3:17 PM, Feb 11, 2008 • By RICHELIEU
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Clinton's very able press-meister Howard Wolfson and her rather-less-able chief strategist Mark Penn held a media conference call today to explain why Hillary Clinton is best able to beat John McCain in November. You can listen to this interesting call here.

Penn's basic pitch is: McCain will run against the Democratic nominee with assistance of the Well-Oiled "Republican Attack Machine" (WORAM) and only Hillary is tough and savvy enough to fend off McCain and his fearsome goon squad. (McCain and the WORAM have their own issues to resolve, a significant point the Clinton Apparatchiks carefully avoid.) Second, Penn claims Hillary Clinton has more experience on national security issues. Third, Hillary is far better known and less vulnerable to vicious WORAM attacks on unknown details of her voting record. Finally, Penn throws up a mist of micro-vote stuff; security women, Latinos, etc., who he claims are more Clinton friendly. There was also some expectations-spinning about the likely HRC wipeout on Tuesday. The spin: See you in Denver at the convention, via "a better month" in March in TX and OH.

My take? Nice try, fellas. But everybody knows Hillary polarizes half the country and would go into a general election with significant weaknesses.

P.S.: Best nasty press question. Some Brit from the Times of London. How is HRC's hold out for Texas and Ohio different from Rudy's similar spin about Florida near the end of his campaign? Wolfson responds with a long list of Clinton wins in various primary states.