Uh-huh. That this could be posted without the slightest trace of irony or sarcasm, from a "news" network positively rotten with Chimpco crack whores, tells you everything you need to know about the incredibly debauched nature of the media, and their role in the poltical-industrial complex. Hillary is the big cutthroat; forget how the Bush people used Pat Robertson's minions to push-poll the rubes in South Carolina about John McCain's negro love child back in the 2000 primaries.
Sell the conflict, build the smackdown, prolong the inevitable, milk the ad revenues. Funny how none of that is actually of any value to people not in the bidness, but them's the breaks. It's going to be a long eighteen months, but we already knew that, didn't we?
Matt Yglesias has more:
Just for the record, I'm not a big Hillary fan. I've never understood the ease with which she and her husband have reflexively "triangulated" issues of principle, giving ground to the worst sorts of idiots and social baboons. Things like flag burning and violent video games, while not pleasant issues, simply do not warrant the time of serious people.
Still, she deserves some credit. She has proven to be a smart and effective senator, winning cooperation and even grudging respect from diametrically opposed people like Sam Brownback. And anyone who can put up with the self-indulgent perorations of Robert Byrd and terminal oafs such as Tom Coburn or John Cornyn deserves props, just for the willingness to do some rhetorical shit-shoveling.
So far, the Democratic candidate that seems to be hitting the best notes is John Edwards. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the hype machine that Obama or Clinton have. But the real thing to watch out for -- for all of them -- is the catty, sniping little mean girls of the "serious" media, the Heathers (female and male) of the talk shows, the panel wankfests, the regurgitated gossip chatter columns, etc. They relish the unearned, obscene power of manufacturing consensus opinion in the Beltway and in the TV studios and "news" rooms, but they are completely unserious about the responsibility that goes along with it. They'll sniff McCain's ass for a while longer, but he looks to be hitting self-destruct mode already, and probably won't make it through summer.
So whoever is nicest to the Heathers, or gives the best talking head, strokes their preening self-importance, will probably get anointed as the prospective front-runner. The rest of them will be stamped as "aloof" or "not viable" or "doesn't speak cracker well enough to win in Jeebusland", or whatever handy bullet point they can concoct. And the first one to fuck up in front of a camera will be Howard Dean-ed within hours.
Why? Because they are allowed to get away with the notion that they are civil and serious, when most of them are neither.