Hillary's Latest Endorsement: Joseph Wilson
I just finished a blogger conference conference call with the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Hillary has picked up a big new endorsement: Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.
Joe says he has known Hillary for over a decade and has spent a lot of time discussing Iraq with her. He thinks she is the most likely to get us out of there.
During the last four years while he and Valerie went through the Republican meat-grinder process, Hillary reached out to them repeatedly to share the lessons she learned from her experience in the meat-grinder.
She has the leadership ability. She understands the political process. She has an enormous commitment to this country. She is the best equipped to fight for us.
I asked him whether Iraq was the only issue that led him to endorse Hillary, or whether there were other issues on which he saw a difference between her and the other candidates.
He didn't answer by naming any specific other issues but asserted again that he has known her for more than ten years and is convinced she is the best to lead our country. His familiarity with her dates back to the Clinton presidency, when he spent time in Africa with her. More recently, he's had a chance to bring people to meet with her on Iraq, and everyone comes away impressed with her grasp of the facts and the issues and her willingness to listen and to engage.
He and Valerie had dinner with Hillary in Washington before they moved to Santa Fe. Joe was talking about the revenge he'd like to take on the Republicans for what they put him and Valerie through. Hillary leaned across the table and said, "Joe, let it go." Don't get bogged down.
They are friends who speak often.
So, the question is: Will Joe Wilson be a boon for the Hillary campaign and with whom? Will bloggers who have continued to be harsh on Hillary for her early position on Iraq now change course based on the strength of Joe's belief that she is the one candidate who knows how to and will get us out of there?
I agree Hillary has the strength, the smarts and the commitment to be a great President. I believe she will get us out of Iraq.
I also think she will appoint excellent judges, improve our health care system and protect social security.
This is not to say Hillary is the only candidate who fits the bill. As Taylor says,
The '08 selection season is not over by a long shot and I am staying neutral in the primary. But the endorsement of Clinton by Joseph Wilson is a big step for her campaign. That Clinton offered the scoop to a group of bloggers shows just how far she's come and how far she's willing to engage a community, which on the hole is very critical of her on all fronts. She's also accepted the invitation to YearlyKos, which I'm looking forward to very much. Clinton is illustrating her ability to engage on all fronts, even where she knows she'll take heat. The strength of Clinton's candidacy continues to expand.
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