Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bill Clinton: "irked" or "melting down"

By Creature

Yesterday the talk of the Intertubes was of Bill Clinton and his red-faced tirade at this past weekend's California superdelegate meeting when he was asked about Bill Richardson's Judas-like endorsement of his wife's rival. To read the SFGate story, it was classic Bill:

In fact, before his speech Clinton had one of his famous meltdowns Sunday, blasting away at former presidential contender Bill Richardson for having endorsed Obama, the media and the entire nomination process.

"It was one of the worst political meetings I have ever attended," one superdelegate said.

However, today the story went national, and the Associated Press' version has a slightly different take:

During a private meeting with California Democrats this past weekend, Clinton grew red-faced as he talked about how he expected Richardson, who was a member of Clinton's Cabinet, to back Hillary Rodham Clinton for the presidential nomination or at least stay neutral, according to several people who attended. [...]

"He sort of gets a little redder and redder and redder, but he wasn't off the deep end as I had seen him in the past," said Inola Henry, an uncommitted superdelegate. "It was sort of like, 'Gee, I'm a martyr.' He seemed more hurt than anything." [...]

"I left the meeting feeling this was great," Mulholland said. "The guy had time to talk to us about the campaign."

Even comparing the headlines it's hard not to see a bit of backroom spinning to tone down the story by the Clinton's, the AP, and reporter Laura Kurtzman:

SFGate: Bill Clinton's tirade stunned some delegates

AP: Clinton irked by Richardson endorsement

Read them both, compare for yourself, and while I'm glad the story went national, and that it's a top story on Yahoo! news, it's hard not to be disappointed that an event that was clearly indicative of Bill's negative influence on his wife's campaign was not portrayed as such.

As the Clinton campaign steers their superdelegate wooing toward Obama's Reverend Wright problem, I think it's fair to point out that Hillary would have a bit of a Bill problem herself come November.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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