February 16th, 2014
09:10 AM ET
7 months ago

Inside Politics: Hillary's interpretation of the 'Roosevelt Rule'

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton's office had nothing to say this past week as GOP Sen. Rand Paul escalated his attacks on Bill Clinton's character and newly discovered diaries of a dear old friend offered glimpses of an angry and vengeful Mrs. Clinton during her husband's presidency.

But don’t for a second believe that no direct response means no response.

Thursday, as schools were closed and events were canceled from Georgia to New England, Clinton went ahead with an event featuring her daughter, Chelsea, and Melinda Gates to spotlight global efforts to help women and girls.

No mention of the Diane Blair papers. No mention of Paul's salvos.

Instead, Clinton explained what we shall call the Roosevelt Rule.

"One of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard is from Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1920s who said that women in politics or public roles should grow skin like a rhinoceros," Clinton said. "I think there's some truth to that."

Judgment Day - A jury of his peers: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has ignored calls from newspapers back home and a few predictable conservative critics who say he should step down as chairman of the Republican Governors Association because of what we now shorthand as Bridgegate.
He says he can handle the important 2014 political job while dealing with investigations he says will clear him of any wrongdoing.

So far, it's a mixed verdict. The Christie fund-raising numbers are good; some candidates, though, are shying away from public appearances.

But CNN’s Peter Hamby smartly notes an important test in the coming week: Christie meets with fellow GOP governors who are members of the RGA leadership. Some don't like him, others see him as a potential 2016 rivals.

But, in any event, it is a true jury of his peers and if Christie emerges from the meetings in good shape it will give him at least a bit of a boost.

Judgment Day 2: A jury of his skeptics: Maeve Reston makes an important point this week: while Christie's overall poll numbers are down of late, his standing among core conservatives is actually up a bit.

And the timing is golden: Christie in early March addresses the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. He wasn’t invited last year - many at this gathering of the social and economic right see Christie as more moderate than conservative.

He says the record proves otherwise. In any event, it is a great chance for Christie to make some converts. Conservative distrust of the mainstream media has created some sympathy in an audience, that as Maeve puts it, politely I might add, "has been very cool to him."

Retribution: Planet C-SPAN vs. Planet Netflix: “House of Cards” is a fictional portrayal of hardball politics. Retribution in the real world doesn’t involve body bags.

No, in the C-SPAN - not Netflix - universe, talk of retribution centers on primary challenges, committee assignments or fund-raising droughts. But one of the new rules of politics is the old rules don’t always apply, so it's a less predictable environment.

Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, for example, no doubt would like to send a little payback to the tea party and other conservative members who have given them fits, most recently in the debt ceiling debate

As Robert Costa points out on “Inside Politics” this week, McConnell is "furious" at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for forcing a 60-vote threshold to raise the debt ceiling.

What can or will McConnell do? Worth watching.

First, though, see if the GOP base in key presidential primary and caucus states celebrates or frowns at Cruz for putting his Senate leader in such a bind. Cruz is off to Iowa in March and New Hampshire in April.

Also watch to see if the restless right can follow through: conservatives like Red State's Erick Erickson urge primary challenges against any Republican who helped the debt measure get to the President's desk.

It's tough talk. But just talk unless conservatives at the grassroots level go to the polls and deliver punishment.

Call It the 'Deal Effect': There's snow three days away, prepare for your governor to declare a state of emergency.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal acknowledges a lousy state response to a snowstorm a few weeks back. Since then, Republicans say his poll standing has tanked and, while it is only February, they are worried not only about the 2014 governor's race but that it could hurt GOP chances in a critical Senate race there.
Again, way too soon to tell but worth watching.

But worth watching now is how other governors get the message: A week or so after the Georgia debacle, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback declared a state of emergency and shut things down well before the first snowflake.

And this past week, no fewer than eight governors issued emergency decrees well before the storms crossed their borders. If you think your governor got it right, Georgia's embattled chief executive might deserve a bit of the credit.


Filed under: Chris Christie • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. NameUlysses

    Unfortunately, Mrs. Roosevelt had a face like a rhinoceros as well...

    February 17, 2014 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  2. yoman

    She is too old. Time for some young people.

    February 17, 2014 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  3. ?

    grow skin like a rhinoceros. is that code for republican in name only?

    February 17, 2014 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  4. Jim

    I must admit I agree with Hillary, she looks more like a rhinoceros everyday, her skin will be 2 inches thick and have rivers of wrinkles by the time 2016 rolls around, and who in the right mind would want to see that every night on the evening news before dinner.

    February 17, 2014 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  5. Kregg

    if Rand Paul did an event to help out boys he'd be labeled as a sexist. But its ok for hilary clinton to do events for girls... Nothing like double standards... oh, I mean EQUALITY! Next thing, girls will have to sign up for the selective services in case we have another draft. Whoa is EQUAL RIGHTS!

    February 17, 2014 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  6. Hamlet

    Seems like Hillary already has a skin like a rhinoceros

    February 17, 2014 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  7. Look N Click

    Is she implying that US will have a rhinoceros for a presidential candidate in 2016?!

    February 17, 2014 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  8. Tula

    Why doesn't Hillary just stay home and bake cookies. These Clintons just can't get enough, its never enough - more, more and more power. They can't get over it - no class whatsoever. Hillary is mean, refusing help when the Ambassador begged and begged for help. Always a coverup in Washington these days since Obama got there. If she wins, we will really know the elections are fixed now thanks to the Chicago thugs.

    February 17, 2014 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  9. glauber

    They're gassing on again about the Lewinsky hummer because they have very little else that they think will gain traction. It reeks of desperation. The matter was settled long ago and no one owes anyone an explanation of it anymore.

    February 17, 2014 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  10. gustifer53

    Yep, I'm surprised that Rand Paul's egghead hasn't exploded yet. Many times silence is more damaging to someone who is trying to piss someone else off. As in Rand Paul and his ignorant rants about President Bill Clinton, even with his mistakes in his life, President Bill Clinton will forever be a better man than Rand Paul. Plus President will also always be a President of the United States, as where Paul Rand, can only think that he is. A little advice Rand, it's not a good idea to pick on a man that is more popular then any President living and you aren't even mentioned in ANY conversation when it come to popularity. Not a good idea...

    February 17, 2014 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  11. mickinmd

    "newly discovered diaries of a dear old friend offered glimpses of an angry and vengeful Mrs. Clinton during her husband's presidency."

    "Vengeful" comes from taking a remark out of context where Hillary said she was recording information so that when politicians and bureaucrats wrote books and lied in them, she could get "revenge" by revealing the truth.

    Now we're getting two attack-Hillary articles per day – I wonder how many it will be in 2016?

    February 17, 2014 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  12. postedbygeorge

    all of these GOP blowhards are jealous of Monica.

    February 17, 2014 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  13. J.V.Hodgson

    The rand Paul Hilary attack on Bill and her will not last a viable matter in the eyes of voters other than those she could never win anyway and does not need to as dems and a significant number of Independents don't see this raking over of history as relevant as a negative to her presidential hopes Her best tactic is to ignore this until she decides to run then tout her case for women's rights activities during her secretary of State tenure.
    Revenge is standard practice in oppositional politics... its the name of the game.
    Compare the above with Chris Christies tactics avoiding subpoenas, running an internal non investigation suggesting his staff invoke executive privilege witnesses pleading the 5th remember the 5th amendment is used to avoid being prosecuted for criminal offences. You cannot incriminate yourself for a civil liability case ala GWB closure unnecessarily.
    All the things Christie is doing ensure the legal fraca goes all thru the couts and continue to make it newsworthy.
    Regards,'
    Hodgson.

    February 17, 2014 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  14. Lizzie

    Tampa Tim, leave veterans out they have served their country in ways you NEVER will. But then you believe those who hold out their hands including politicians and receive but NOT contribute are the future,.

    February 17, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  15. pete veslocki

    Extremists in the Republican party are hurting chances of a GOP Senate and Presidency. Where as the extreeme Democratic Prsident and his party is hurting the entire country.

    Time for moderates to rise up and replace the problem makers in both parties.

    February 17, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
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