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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a Global Town Townterview at the Newseum in Washington January 29, 2013. The Townterview, a mix of a town hall and television interview, is Clinton's 59th such meeting which comes just before her last day as S
"Tabloid headlines. Personal dramas. Organizational disarray. Score-settling between rival factions documented in news accounts like a soap opera," Maggie Haberman's latest at Politico begins, continuing "Does this have a familiar ring?"

Yes, yes it does have a familiar ring, but maybe not in the way Haberman intended. As the beginning of a story about Hillary Clinton written in perhaps the slowest news month of the political cycle, a story that hangs on the slightest of pretexts, it sounds very familiar. But familiar as a BS manufactured story about whomever, not as anything reflecting the current reality of Hillary or Bill Clinton. And when I say "slightest of pretexts," I mean that the whole thing is based on one of Hillary's aides having a husband with issues (that would be Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner) and a New York Times story about the Clinton family's efforts to solidify their foundation for the future, many of the details of which the former president contests. Perhaps in recognition of the slightness of her story, Haberman tweeted:

The counter-narrative - the foundation messes ended two years ago, Hillaryland ran smoothly at State, WJC has been on message RE nyc mayoral
But in the story itself, Haberman fully commits to rebuilding all the old Beltway press Clinton narratives, with the traditional level of reliance on "one longtime Clinton supporter," "one senior Democrat," and "one Clinton ally familiar with her operation." And the thing is, even those anonymous people are mostly being quoted saying there's no huge deal here! For the "ooh, there are problems and dysfunction" part of the article, Haberman relies on vaguer, less sourced innuendo. Basically, it's all the transitive property of Anthony Weiner's wang and the possibility that the Clinton Foundation had some problems a couple years ago when Hillary was busy being secretary of state.

There are no revelations about the Clintons here, just a reminder how bad it can get when all the worst things about Politico and political news-as-gossip are raised to the Nth degree of off-year August. Ugh.

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Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 07:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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