Magazine article Newsweek

Hillary's Second Term

Magazine article Newsweek

Hillary's Second Term

Article excerpt

Finally, the last campaign her husband will ever run is over. And now Hillary Clinton is on the cusp of deciding whether she's going to launch a final crusade of her own, one aimed at redeeming her reputation. The First Lady isn't content with taking foreign good-will missions, harvesting money from loyal Democrats and getting rapturous welcomes from carefully chosen crowds. She wants affection from the American public, or, failing that, at least a sympathetic understanding that she's not the monster who sprang full born from Rush Limbaugh's forehead.

It turns out that Hillary isn't quite so tough after all. As Shakespeare said of a different stereotype, if you cut her, she bleeds. According to her closest aides, she wants to suture the wounds and take her place on the national pedestal beside Eleanor Roosevelt and Barbara Bush. But two formidable problems stand between her and beatification: first, she is reluctant to play the pandering game with the public and the press unless she can control the outcome. And second, she has a special prosecutor armed with subpoena power laying siege to the East Wing.

There's not much she can do about Ken Starr and his minions. The conventional wisdom in Washington this week holds that Starr will call her before another grand jury to testify about her role, if any, in hiring White House aide Craig Livingstone, who allegedly misused FBI files. But Starr has yet to uncover a smoking gun, and he may not have the nerve to indict her if the case is even close. …

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