February 16th, 2014
09:10 AM ET
4 years 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. Thomas

    I think the young and arrogant Randy Paul is do for a verbal biatch slappin in his near future .

    February 16, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Harold Read

    "women in politics or public roles should grow skin like a rhinoceros"
    – let the liberal media sugarcoat failures and paint them into outstanding successes
    – ignore them until they go away
    – blame someone else (an Obama speciality)
    – just say, "do you know who my husband is?!"

    February 16, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. HenryMiller

    "Red State's Erick Erickson urge primary challenges against any Republican who helped the debt measure get to the President's desk."

    Out-of-control spending is the single most economically dangerous thing going in America these days. Anyone who doesn't get that really should be voted out.

    February 16, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    How out of control would our spending be if we did not have to pay for unfunded wars and unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy?

    February 16, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Name

    Houston closed schools and issued warnings before the same storm that caught Georgia off-guard, producing a glaring contrast to the huge mess in Georgia from the same storm. It was probably that example of good planning by government which made Georgia's governor so defensive re the first storm, and made it clear that there would no decent excuse for poor planning ahead of the next storm. If anybody deserves credit for prompting other governors to better planning ahead of winter storms in the South, it's Houston, not Georgia.

    February 16, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    There is no liberal media, but there are responsible outlets who do not buy into the Faux conspiracy theories of Fox News.

    February 16, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    Hillary is past, we knew everything about Clintons please tell us some new stuff why we shouldn’t support Clintons
    How republicans will handle the tea party After Obama presidency is over, Just wondering.

    February 16, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. likeAplan

    Bill and Monica.....did Bill put his lips on both of her iips?

    February 16, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. mr sensitive

    Lord forgive him he knows not what he's doing

    February 16, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Wade

    Well Hillary the hate mongering murder and supporter of men who abuse woman does look a little like a RINO! LOL....

    February 16, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Jersy Boy

    Tampa Tim you must have your head too far in the sand because you have evidently bumped your skull on the hard left rocks below.

    February 16, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. I don't get it

    Rand Paul has really become a joke to most and a hero to the mindless. This is Ross Perot the 3rd .. loud mouth, outrageous accusations, wild stories. He is a nut case that will eventually cause all the people of Kentucky disclaim him as their state goes from red to blue to distance themselves from him.

    February 16, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Steve

    Those who do not like President Obama are going to still be angry in due time when they see Hillary Clinton run. Great chances to be the next President. Women are the reason Obama is President. They will vote for the tribe this time.

    February 16, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Big_D

    Rand Paul is focusing on the Clintons again. I wonder if he is getting ready to split with his wife or something? Remember the Newt, he was all condemning Clinton and he was worse. It is sad these personal attacks are supposed to be the substance of our politics. This is more like the banter of shows where you get voted off the Island. But then again if I was in the GOP I would stay as far away from discussing actual GOP policies as possible.

    February 16, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Shen

    I would say that Mrs. Clinton has been successfull in growing skin like a rhinoceros!

    February 16, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Robert Gemerek

    “House of Cards” is a fictional portrayal of hardball politics. Retribution in the real world doesn’t involve body bags.".......i kinda doubt it....look at all the acquaintances of politicians who have "disappeared". remember chandra levy?

    February 16, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Chuck

    I would re-elect Bill in a hearbeat, but never Hillary

    February 16, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. wotudezerv

    liberal media liberal media liberal media. gosh. you people really are gerbils in the rectal tunnel of Fox News. if you like not thinking so much, why not go to a nation where it is actually outlawed, like North Korea.? Democracy takes real thought, stop wasting the time of real adults in our nation so we can work out the best way to run this nation for everyone. liberal media liberal media liberal media. excuse me, little children. time to retch.

    February 16, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Skeptacular

    The far right Republican responders to this post are sounding decidedly strident and panicked. Think of a wounded wild animal backed into a corner. It's sad, but they did it to themselves. I see forum respondents here as the politically aware fabric of the country in microcosm. The longer they attack and insult without substantive ideas the whole of America can relate to, the longer it'll be until they land a chief exec. in office. They should really be looking at 2024 at this point.

    February 16, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. gahh

    If Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell would spend more time worrying about the poverty and unemployment rate in Kentucky, maybe the people of Kentucky could live better than just going from welfare, poverty and unemployment to more welfare, poverty and more unemployment. Why the poor people of Kentucky keep reelecting these 2 self serving morons, is beyond comprehension.

    February 16, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Count de Likes


    Also, don't forget all the welfare and handout programs.

    February 16, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Tom

    The GOP is on the sinking ship singing "Nearer My God To Thee."

    February 16, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. texasnotea

    God sent the sinkhole at the Corvette museum to get Rand Paul but missed

    February 16, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. FreedomStorm

    Obama is not the anti-Christ … but he IS here to usher her in.

    How to Create a Socialist State by Saul Alinsky:
    There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a socialist state controlled by self-appointed socialists. The first is the most important.
    1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people
    2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
    3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
    4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
    5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
    6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
    7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
    8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
    Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States ?

    February 16, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    War money leaves our economy, while food stamps, veterans benefits, unemployment benefits add to our economy. Hope republicans can figure it out.

    February 16, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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