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. Stanton Allaben

    At this point Chris Christie is still the best hope for the GOP in 2016. People like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, etc. will just make a lot of noise and lose by a landslide if one of them is chosen.

    February 16, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. DaveinIL

    So that's why Hillary looks like a dinosaur.

    February 16, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Hector Slagg

    Aw, Gee,
    Harry Truman said If you can't stand the Heat, stay out of the Kitchen. Barrack Obama said, If You like your Health plan, you can keep it, Period. The Liberal's and Democrats want to run the country but they want the Conservatives and Republican's to pay for it. Good luck with that.

    February 16, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Freedom – You do sound a lot like family man Newt.

    February 16, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. dave

    What else can she say? What a demeaning marriage she has had, but watch Clinton News Network spin this into making her a rock star

    February 16, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. George Dixon

    The actual Roosevelt Rule was that the Press would not notice or report on his infirmities...

    No wonder it strikes a chord with Hillary.

    February 16, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Jackson

    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?!"


    You mean like the way FOX News tried to convince people that Sarah Palin was a qualified candidate?

    February 16, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. eddhur

    she is getting to old to run and she is the same old thing i hope nobody else loves her as much as the media does

    February 16, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. eddhur

    we need the one that the media is against

    February 16, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. asdfasdfa

    I don't know that I can warm up to Hillary because of her Goldman Sachs buddies. But still she is better than all the conservatives of the world lumped together. so regrettably I would vote for her when I dearly love Obama, a strong and courageous man among the children who run this world.

    February 16, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. BO

    during the hearings:
    I don't recall.
    I can't remember.
    I don't recall....

    And that was all years ago before she fainted, got a blood clot, then a stroke, then brain damage.

    February 16, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Wes

    Can't wait for our first L3Z Pr3z

    February 16, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. thomasmichael

    Mrs. Roosevelt may not have agreed to be quoted by a person who uses her words to imply that she is being unjustly attacked in defense of her actions resulting from her lack of integrity and character. Remarkably, Mrs. Clinton's is never responsible for her lack of judgment, immoral decisions and bold face lies. Will the majority of Americans see through her veil of deceit? Yes, that is why we have President Obama. Democrats should keep that in mind before anointing Mrs. Clinton as the presumptive nominee of the party.

    February 16, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Jakell

    Hillary Clinton has shown over the years how deceitful and dishonest she can be whether she gives a direct response, an indirect response, or no response at all.

    February 16, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    I'd rather choose Rand Paul and lose then comprise and win

    February 16, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Bill Smells

    Problems with Hillary Clinton:

    * She doesn't really have a traditional marriage. It's more a marriage of convenience and political gain. So when she talks about marriage issues, she herself has no credibility.

    * She is out of touch with America. She hasn't driven a car in years and lives the life of a multimillionaire. So when she talks about doing the right thing for the middle class, she has no idea what she's talking about.

    * She's for gun control when the majority of American is not.

    This lady is completely out of touch with America. She hasn't been part of the general public in nearly three decades (maybe four). We need to stop supporting these kinds of people. Why elect someone who has nothing in common with you or your beliefs?

    She's the furthest thing from being "down to earth". A vote for Hillary is a vote for the status quo and further decline of the American people.

    February 16, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Jon

    By the next election all will be forgotten about Hillary's past and the aimless herd of idiot Americans will vote her into office because she can sling BS.

    February 16, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. nunya

    Got Skeletons? Rand Paul === "yes.. shhhh.. dont bring that up... " if he were batting for his team (think about it), then by his choices he should be a democrat..

    February 16, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. NorCalMojo

    Did Roosevelt call in sick when he was asked to testify about his failed policy?

    February 16, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. BO

    Why did it take weeks and several revisions to get an answer from Hillary on Benghazi?

    February 16, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    'Tis, I fear, going to be a choice between Christie and Clinton. How disheartening that a vengeful prevaricator and a fading political appendage will be all the American people have to choose from in 2016.

    Perhaps Britain will allow us to return to our origin. A constitutional monarchy can't be any worse that the partisan morass in which we are currently mired.

    February 16, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. jake

    Christie will never be president- Clinton is too old and the repubs will pull out another bush card.


    And I encourage all of you to do the same. They invented the two party system to fake out the American people into thinking that they are there for us. They are not.

    ALL politicians are bums and they live high on the hog on OUR dollar. Thanks to the Patriot act- we are no longer a free country. If you think we are- then you are delusional.

    February 16, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. noneyo getit

    Are they seriously picking apart Hillary based on a diary she wrote while she was in the process of finding out her husband cheated on her at the same time as the entire civilized world?

    That was a completely undeserved and ultimate humiliation she endured... the fact that she never lost it in front of reporters or even in front of semi-insiders speaks volumes about her self-control and poise. If her diary was NOT full of extreme sentiments I would question her mental stability.

    She was a divisive figure in 2008 for no fault of her own. Now she has separately made a name for herself as the woman who pulled off excising Iran from the world economy without changing the price of gas.

    February 16, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Bill from GA

    The Roosevelt Rule: silently sit back while your husband is publicly cheating on you.

    At least Mrs. Roosevelt didn't think her years as First Lady qualified her for high public office.

    February 16, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Ctrygrl

    Trust me Ms. Hillary, any woman that chooses to work and succeed in any profession primarily dominated by men better have that rhinoceros skin, it is the only way to survive. As for Dr. Rand trashing Bill, this is a pitiful attempt at guilt by association and just making Hillary look better.

    February 16, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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