Mrs. Clinton told Democrats that she viewed her two strongest potential Democratic opponents as Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina. They said that she viewed Mr. Obama as her biggest obstacle to the nomination, but that she believed the threat of his candidacy will diminish as voters learn how inexperienced he is in government and foreign affairs.Inexperienced, yes, but presumably he's got people giving him a crash course in government and foreign affairs. I'm picturing, Obama o-boning up. I think he can.
Without mentioning Mr. Obama by name, Mrs. Clinton and her camp are already asserting that experience will be a key attribute for any successful candidate during difficult times — an argument that her team will no doubt make in a more aggressive way against Mr. Obama if they both jump into the race.
So Hillary's having lots of meetings with potential supporters:
Mrs. Clinton has gone to great lengths to try to keep these meetings private. She and her aides have strongly asked Democrats not to report what has taken place there, from what she says to what she eats and where (she had the lamb at Ruth’s Chris, the Dover sole at the Four Seasons).Love the parenthetical.
Senator Clinton told one New Hampshire Democrat that if all things were equal, she would prefer to delay the formal start of her campaign until later this year and focus instead on notching accomplishments as a prominent member of the new Democratic majority in the Senate."Notching accomplishments." Brilliant. The image -- "notching" -- is to the notches on a gun a cowboy made for killing people, right? Unless it's notches on a bedpost for sexual conquests. Politics is so raw, so brutal. And this time, it's going to be hardcore, in a new way we've never seen.
ADDED: In the comments, people are raising questions about how Hillary Clinton is going to claim she has so much more experience than Obama. He's held elected office longer; she's been in the Senate a tad longer. The only way she can claim significantly more experience is if being the First Lady is supposed to count (or if Bill is running for co-President). That will be an awkward argument. I'll be interested in see how she looks, trying to say that with a presidential face. A 1-term Senator promoting herself on experience and padding her resume with First Lady service? Is this how the first woman will make it to President? If it's a battle of the firsts, shouldn't we lean toward the first black President, if he is the self-made man, rather than the first woman President, if she needs to stand on the shoulders of her husband? Really, how does she come off diminishing him for inexperience?