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Hillary Gives an Opinion....on the Libby Commutation

Last week, in Detroit, Hillary ducked the question of a possible Libby pardon. When asked, she replied "Oh, I think there would be enough to be said about that without me adding to it."

At least, with Bush's commutation of Libby, Hillary is forced, to take a public position, something she is loath to do, whenever an issue emerges or reemerges that might reflect badly on her husband's record and by implication her.

Josh Marshall has Hillary's response to the Libby commutation

I believe that presidential pardon authority is available to any president, and almost all presidents have exercised it, (Clinton said in a telephone interview with 'The Associated Press'.) This (the Libby decision) was clearly an effort to protect the White House. ... There isn't any doubt now, what we know is that Libby was carrying out the implicit or explicit wishes of the vice president, or maybe the president as well, in the further effort to stifle dissent.

Good as far as it goes, which isn't very far..Yet as one commenter, RaymondA in Josh's blog says:

"Clinton did pardon people from his own administration, particularly Henry Cisneros and his CIA Director Deutsch. He also pardoned Susan McDougal, who of course protected him by refusing to follow a court order to testify in the Whitewater investigation."

But is safe to bet that the cautious Hillary will now revert to form. "I have no opinion. I had no opinion before. I had no opinion at the time, I have no opinion now". when asked about about the controversial pardons of the four New York Hasidic Jews by her husband.

As for the four men and women pardoned and commuted by her husband with help from her two brothers, one of whom,Tony Rodham received 400 hundred thousand dollars. Mrs. Clinton's defense is: You know, people would hand me envelopes, I would just pass them. You know, I would not have any reason to look into them, and I knew nothing about the Marc Rich pardon until after it happened" even though if Hillary is to believed, she attended a meeting on the subject with her husband, but gave no opinion on the matter at the time.

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Comments (3)

Given the above comments, I would like to read how you handicap the race now?
In fact, it would intersting for a reader to come to this site and read a weekly analysis of how the Democrat nomination process is going. Who is ahead, who is behind.

Steve Crickmore:

Hugh S, others on our team are following the race more closely but your's is a good idea but I think we are already doing that informally.

Apparently Hillary had 80% or higher chance of winning the Democratic Nomination two weeks ago. See Paul Hamilton's link to the Washingon Post two weeks ago"Hillary Clinton is inevitable...."

Since then,Obama has been raising alot of money, Richardson has been rising slowly in the polls and if Gore enters the race?..Hillary is looking less inevitable, to the relief of many us here.

I'm worried about the 'War of the Roses' syndrome for the White House. It could be... from 1988--George Herbert Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, and then Jeb Bush which will take us to 2024, until the next generation?

Hugh S. Whom do you favor?

I believe Gore said this morning that he would not run. The reason why I asked you guys for a regular analysis on the Democrats is because I think it's a toss up between Hillary and Obama. In terms of electability, Hillary has an impressive organization but strong negatives. Obama can raise money, lacks national level experience and I think Hillary will exploit that issue very soon. The rest of the Democratic side is out of it.

On the republican side, I think it will be Thompson.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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