Late in the afternoon of June 14, 2006... the usual attendees were surprised to discover a newcomer in attendance: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was one of the first to arrive and took a place on a love seat, one of the two couches in the room.... Clinton draped one arm around the back of the couch and chewed gum, a participant recalled....Snagging the love seat... chewing gum... doing the arm drape....
Two days later, [Levin] introduced [the alternative amendment calling for a phased redeployment] on the floor of the Senate. He was followed by Jack Reed, who said, “I join with my colleague, Senator Levin, and Senators Feinstein and Salazar, to offer this amendment.” Suddenly, Clinton showed up on the Senate floor, wanting to speak as soon as possible. Normally, the speakers go in the order of seniority, with the bill’s original sponsors getting the privilege to speak first. Waiting her turn to speak was one of the sponsors, Senator Feinstein. Senator Levin, who controlled the allocation of floor time for the Democrats, appeared flummoxed, a Senate aide recalled. But he agreed to Clinton’s surprise request to take the floor as the next Democratic speaker.This was odd because, according to the article, Harry Reid had told Feinstein that they wanted her as a sponsor because it was bad to have presidential aspirants as original sponsors.
Clinton’s first words took some insiders by surprise: “I rise in support of the Levin amendment of which I am proud to be an original co-sponsor.”
“We were puzzled,” the aide said, because no one had told them about Clinton’s sudden ascendancy to a leadership role on the measure. Indeed, just a few minutes earlier, Jack Reed, in his remarks, had not included Clinton in his list of sponsors.
The original text of the amendment filed in the Senate read “to be proposed by Mr. Levin (for himself, Mr. Reed, Mrs. Feinstein and Mr. Salazar).” But off to the side, in handwriting, a single word would be added: “Clinton.” Her name was inserted, records show, on June 19, the same day that Levin unveiled his amendment with the other sponsors but not Clinton.