Patterico's Pontifications


The Power of the Jump™: L.A. Times Buries Hillary Negatives on Back Pages — Plus, Release the Healthcare Documents!

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:16 am

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

There were high-fives all around the Clinton campaign this morning after they picked up their paper and read this article on the front page of the L.A. Times. Marvel at the bootlicking apparent in the first few paragraphs:


Wow. “She always came prepared.” She was “a force to be reckoned with as a decision-maker.” She “emerged as Bill Clinton’s most influential campaign strategist and policy advisor.” She was “forceful and methodical in shaping the Clinton administration’s domestic policies and political strategy, and proved to be a disciplined partner” to Bill. She was “commanding, opinionated, daunting.” She came to meetings “[a]rmed with an exhaustively researched grasp of the issues at hand.” And in argument, she was commonly found “lacerating opposing arguments with surgical precision.”

Surgical precision!

She had an “all-access pass into the West Wing” which “gave her an intimate education in presidential decision-making that none of her opponents can claim.”

This article could hardly be any more sycophantic if Hillary’s own campaign had written it.

Yeah, sure, there are “buts” coming — but they are safely tucked away on the back pages, where most readers will never turn. Here’s what you see if you turn aaaaaallll the way back to page A18:

government works, and she learned painfully from her missteps how easily it bogs down.

Yet Clinton has never exercised ultimate executive authority. Unlike some of her campaign rivals, she has no experience in managing massive state budgets or city bureaucracies, a critique pointedly raised by former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

The healthcare initiative started out as Clinton’s most ambitious experiment in policymaking and ended up as her greatest management failure, trailing criticism that her performance was flawed by hubris, inflexibility and a penchant for secrecy and political combat.

Yup, all the negatives are neatly tucked away out of view. Just at the exact moment the negatives begin, the article snips them off the front page, with great precision.

Why, one might even call it . . . surgical precision!

By the way, late, late in the piece — on page 3 of the online version’s 3-page article –the paper notes an interesting issue:

She appeared sensitive to scrutiny from the start. Just three days after her husband gave her authority over the healthcare plan, she was already considering limits on public access to the plan’s records. In a Jan. 28, 1993, memo, deputy counsel Vincent Foster advised the first lady and Ira Magaziner, who devised the complex healthcare process structure, that task-force records might be withheld from release under the Freedom of Information Act if the files remained “in the control of the president.”

Her response is not known because many of her healthcare documents have not been released. The Clinton library in Little Rock has released scores of healthcare memos sent to the first lady. But none of her own memos or notes is available, and though some are now scheduled for release early next year, others may remain locked away until after the 2008 election.

Gee, why would that be?

Oh, well. All they are, are documents that show how she handled the most significant task ever assigned her in the Executive Branch. I don’t know why there would be any kind of demand for documents like those! After all, they’re locked away! I’m sure she has no say in that!

Actually, as the local rag noted earlier this month — and props to them for that — she probably does have some say. If she and her husband pressured the archives to release the documents, they would almost certainly release them.

I think this is a major issue that needs more sunlight. She’s been asked about it in a debate. But there should be more pressure.

Remember when newspapers like the L.A. Times told us we needed to see decades-old Reagan-era memos from Sam Alito and John Roberts — and privilege be damned? Remember the editorials and the constant drumbeat?

I’d like to see a constant drumbeat over this.

Again, this is about the most significant responsibility Hillary was ever given in the Executive Branch. She screwed it up, royally. Let’s find out why.

Make her release the documents.

27 Responses to “The Power of the Jump™: L.A. Times Buries Hillary Negatives on Back Pages — Plus, Release the Healthcare Documents!”

  1. Ah, the First Lady of Discipline! I knew she was the dominatrix type. Photoshop, where art thou with the thigh-length boots and whips?

    dchamil (b57442)

  2. I beat this drum to every Hitlery supporter I meet. If she’s so good, why won’t she release the records? It’s like Kerry’s 182 writ large.
    The media want her to win and will do every thing in their power to make sure it happens.

    Bill M (ee2ae1)

  3. Text should read:
    “She always came prepared” and with “surgical precision” her work was instrumental in the loss of 54 Democratic seats in the 1994 congressional election.

    Talk about failing forward.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  4. I’m not a writer, but I have to say the the words “lacerating… with surgical precision” do not belong together.

    lac-er-ate: to tear roughly; mangle

    Of course, maybe that’s what she was actually doing.

    jim (2a5a0e)

  5. You want her to release the documents? I’m waiting for Dubbya to do likewise. That of course will come when Brian Boitano does a Triple-Lutz in the Ninth Circle.

    I know that Hillary is a major Dominatrix Fantasy for Republicans but to this observer she’s no Bettie Page.

    David Ehrenstein (4f5f08)

  6. Dirty liberal news rags lying 24/7

    krazy kagu (43a7ee)

  7. I’d like to see a constant drumbeat on this.

    It appears the LAT enterprised two long pieces on Hillary’s hidden records before Braun’s back-reference.

    In 90 days.

    Is every candidate profile obliged to lead with that angle going forward?,0,1546719.story

    The HillaryCareI debacle greased the 1994 GOP Congressional take-over. If she loses her mojo in the days ahead – as seems likely – it won’t be over unearthed memos to Ira Magaziner.

    steve (bc8dd9)

  8. Compare to the opening paragraph of the recent story in Newsweek about Rudy:

    On Sept. 16, 1992, the police in New York City held a rally that spun out of control. The cops wanted a new collective-bargaining agreement, and they were angry at Mayor David Dinkins for proposing a civilian review board and for refusing to issue patrolmen 9mm guns. More than a few of them tipsy or drunk, the cops jumped on cars near city hall and blocked traffic near the Brooklyn Bridge. According to some witnesses, they waved placards crudely mocking Mayor Dinkins, the first black mayor of New York, on racial grounds, while at the same time chanting “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” to welcome Rudy Giuliani, the crime-busting former U.S. attorney who had arrived in their midst to shore up his political base.

    It was important to qualify Dinkins as the city’s first black mayor in order in order to point out that Rudy appeared because he wanted to “shore up his political base”, of racists, that is.

    The rest of the article continues in the same tone.

    Like Rudy, I also went to a NYC Catholic High School and probably graduated in the same year. The nuns in grade school were tough but those Irish brothers (he had Christian Brothers, I had Franciscan) thought nothing of opening a can of whoopass, whenever they damn pleased. I never remember anyone whining about it. It was just the way it was.

    PC14 (f74534)

  9. hillary is the only democratic candidate who won’t tell us whether she supports retroactive immunity for spying telcos. that’s just one reason i don’t trust her. corporations that break the law should be punished, and “the administration asked us to” is no defense.

    assistant devil's advocate (8ee4c8)

  10. You ain’t getting boots over those cankles. No way.

    Old Coot (68bdf6)

  11. #5 David:
    Keep up with current events, Bush is not running for President. But the most qualified Democrat in world history is running for President. Strangely however, Hillary won’t release her records to prove her world-class qualifications.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  12. The Republican Party hopes that Bush is not running for President in the form of his record, which is not terribly popular with voters. As you know (and decline to acknowledge in any way) he has forbidden his records availability for public view or examination.

    To my knowledge Hillary Clinton was not POTUS for the past 8 years.

    Or at any other time for that matter.

    David Ehrenstein (4f5f08)

  13. To my knowledge Hillary Clinton was not POTUS for the past 8 years.

    I think this is news to Hillary, her staff and a majority of the MSM

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  14. To my knowledge Hillary Clinton was not POTUS for the past 8 years.

    Doesn’t that strengthen, rather than weaken, the case that her documents should be released?

    NYC 3L (625631)

  15. What is it you’re looking for precisely?

    Rose Law Firm files?

    White House Travel Office memos?

    “I want that Lewinsky bitch DEAD!” directives?

    David Ehrenstein (4f5f08)

  16. Funny how Hillary loves to attack the current administration for its lack of transparency, yet has put up a big thick concrete wall of her own for anything even remotley relevant to her time within the White House in the 90’s.

    Of course, one can only draw the conclusion that she must have a lot of damaging information to hide if she has to lock everything up away from prying eyes.

    Sadly the media doesn’t seem to care, and will continue to do nice softball sessions like the one Katie Couric recently did (proving once and for all she isn’t a journalist by any stretch of the imagination).

    Just for once, I’d like to see Hillary have to face 1/10th the skeptical eye that nearly every Republican who has ever run for office has received at the hands of the media.

    Gabriel (13408c)

  17. The Republican Party hopes that Bush is not running for President in the form of his record, which is not terribly popular with voters

    The Republican Party does nothing of the sort. Unlike you, it knows that Bush is not running for President, and neither is his record. (For one thing, his record isn’t 35 yet, and thus ineligible for the office.)

    As far as what we want from Hillary: how about detailed records of her health care commission? Or records of anything else she directed during her tenure as First Lady. If she’s so damned experienced, let’s see some record of that experience.

    Steverino (e00589)

  18. What is it you’re looking for precisely?

    Why does there have to be some precise thing people are looking for? Since they’re not public no one could possibly say exactly what they are looking for. Whether or not on purpose, you’re asking a question no one could possibly answer.

    Why does she apparently not want them released? Isn’t that significant in and of itself?

    Gerald A (6b39c1)

  19. Maybe. But my question remains. You’re looki \ng for something. Maybe anything. Right?

    David Ehrenstein (4f5f08)

  20. I don’t know about looking for anything, but they seem to want to hide everything. Is there some reason you want to justify the attitude, childish though it may be, about a comparison to a sitting President and one who desires the job? I just would like to know when Hillary was a resident of New York State? Before she invaded Washington DC, they held sway in Arkansas. So just when was it the carpetbagger lady came to New York? The Clintons are a crimial enterprise.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (43f04c)

  21. What is it you’re looking for precisely?

    Both the LAT article and Patterico’s post explicitly refer to documents related to Hillary’s tenure as head of the White House health care task force. I don’t think that one need be a conspiracy theorist to think that those documents could conceivably be relevant to evaluating her fitness to be President, or managerial competence generally. As Patterico put it, “this is about the most significant responsibility Hillary was ever given in the Executive Branch.” Given that she is now running to be the head of that branch, I don’t see why it’s outrageous or conspiracy-minded to ask for these documents to be made public.

    NYC 3L (8f734b)

  22. Incidentally, it’s not only conservatives who think that Hillary’s judgments during the health care reform episode are relevant to evaluating her fitness for higher office. As Brad DeLong, a liberal economist who worked on the Clinton health care task force, has written:

    My two cents’ worth–and I think it is the two cents’ worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994–is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn’t smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly.

    NYC 3L (8f734b)

  23. Ehrenstein thinks that Hillary wasn’t President but Hillary clearly wants to claim all eight years of her husband’s presidency as her experience for the job. Ehrenstein wants to make references to the Bush administration that isn’t running again for the office. Gee, consistent much? Evidently not a goal for Ehrenstein.

    As for her being the most “disciplined” of the two, well gee, that’s sure a high bar …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  24. Wait, Hillary has negatives? Who knew?

    Her team must be slipping. Heads will roll!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  25. Maybe. But my question remains. You’re looki \ng for something. Maybe anything. Right?

    Like a gay hustler, David? No, that’s your turf, buddy. You can keep it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  26. As a former First Lady, what sort of privilege is she using to shield these documents?

    I could care less what they say, or what they show. How this is playing out is what is telling. And it is just like Kerry.

    If these records showed Hillary to be a great leader, on top of everything, and an effective communicator, we would have seen them by now. Had Kerrys records confirmed his version of his 4 months of service, we would have seen his records by now.

    The fact that we have not seen them, and have been given the run around, and provided no good answer for why they have not been provided, is all of the proof I need. Not enough proof for a court of law, but surely enough for a civil matter.

    JD (33beff)

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