Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 21, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

PLAGIARISM....I was trolling around WorldNet Daily today and noticed this story about Hillary Clinton. It's about the millionth version of the "Hillary is going to run for president" story, a perennial favorite with the tinfoil hat crowd, and it's sourced to Newsweek.

Actually, "sourced" isn't the right word, "copied" is more like it. Here are the two stories side by side:

Newsweek

WorldNet Daily

Some dreams never die, including one clung to by loyal Clintonistas: that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Democrats presidential nominee next year.

Is there a chance she would get into the race? That depends on what you mean by get into the race, one of her closest friends and advisers explained to Newsweek.

The scenario, as sketched by this hard-boiled insider, calls for Clinton to make an entrance as healer and unifier at the end of the primary season in May or June in the unlikelybut not impossibleevent that none of the existing contenders has amassed a majority of the convention delegates.

Youd have to have Howard Dean not wrapping it up, and being an angry, wounded front runner, this adviser said. Youd have to have two of the other challengers tearing each other apart in primary after primary. Then Hillary could come in, well in advance of the convention, and say, Look, somebody has to save the party.

The political logistics are doable. Under party rules, delegates are bound to vote at the convention for the candidate under whose banner they were elected in the primariesbut only on the first ballot. Party and elected officialsthe so-called superdelegatesare free to shift allegiance, and could form an instant core of Clinton support. Should she make a dramatic entrance next summer, the senator might be able to draw on the help of some savvy campaign veterans (and Clinton loyalists) now in the employ of other candidates.

If Sen. Joe Liebermans campaign fades, for example, she might recruit his top pros, media handler Mandy Grunwald and pollster Mark Penn.

In the meantime, Sen. Clinton isnt ducking the campaign limelight. Just the opposite. She was the headliner hostess at last Saturdays Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Iowa, where the first-in-the-nation caucuses will be held next January. Clinton logged lots of time at the podium, introducing each of the contenders.

It was set up to make her the star, groused one campaign manager. She would have been anyway, another Clinton insider said. She still puts all the others in the shade and they all know it. She has the star power and they dont. Heres the way things stack up now, he said.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., may not enter the primaries, but she has not given up hope of being the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, reports Newsweek.

Asked if she plans to compete for the nomination, one of her closest friends and advisers reportedly said: "That depends on what you mean by 'get into the race.'"

"The scenario, as sketched by this hard-boiled insider, calls for Clinton to make an entrance as healer and unifier at the end of the primary season in May or June in the unlikely but not impossible event that none of the existing contenders has amassed a majority of the convention delegates," reports Newsweek.

"You'd have to have Howard Dean not wrapping it up, and being an angry, wounded front runner," this adviser said. "You'd have to have two of the other challengers tearing each other apart in primary after primary. Then Hillary could come in, well in advance of the convention, and say, 'Look, somebody has to save the party.'"

Under party rules, reports the news weekly, delegates are bound to vote at the convention for the candidate under whose banner they were elected in the primaries but only on the first ballot. Party and elected officials the so-called super-delegates are free to shift allegiance, and could form an instant core of Clinton support.






Newsweek says if the campaign of Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., fades, she might recruit his top pros media handler Mandy Grunwald and pollster Mark Penn.

Clinton was the star attraction at last Saturday's Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Iowa, where the first-in-the-nation caucuses will be held next January.




"It was set up to make her the star," groused one campaign manager. She would have been anyway, another Clinton insider said. "She still puts all the others in the shade and they all know it. She has the star power and they don't. Here's the way things stack up now," he said.

Former President Clinton's recent public statements suggest he's been recruiting his wife to challenge President Bush in 2004.

"That's really a decision for her to make," he said earlier this fall, suggesting the decision has yet to be made despite the senator's repeated insistence she would fill out her term in New York.

Time magazine reports Clinton has been urging his wife to get into the race and has been trying to figure out a way for her to be able to rescind her past comments.

Aside from chopping out a few sentences and adding some gratuitous Bill Clinton bashing at the end, the WND version is plagiarized slightly less carefully than a 6th grader cribbing from the encyclopedia, and this is something that WND does constantly always preceded, of course, by " 2003 WorldNetDaily.com."

So I'm just wondering: how do they get away with this? They aren't just some obscure blog, they're supposedly a legitimate (yeah, yeah, I know....) news source with a large readership, and yet they do this regularly. Doesn't anyone ever complain?

Just curious.

Kevin Drum 6:56 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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