Each week, we explore Hillary Clinton's universe to provide a round-up of the most compelling recent news, while providing analysis on media commentary, punditry, polling and more. Yes, the election is still a bazillion years away, but when it comes to the story of the potential first female president ever, it's never too early to start the conversation.
Rape Victim Says Hillary Took Her 'Through Hell'
A Daily Beast interview that went up today has the potential to seriously sully Clinton's name. The details? Back in 1975, a 12-year-old girl alleged she was raped. Hillary, as a young Arkansas attorney, defended the attacker—and according to the victim, used smears and lies to get a lighter sentence for her client. Hillary stated, for example, that the victim had made false claims of sexual abuse before, which the victim denies.
So why is the victim only talking now, all these years later? Because she was angered to learn about just-released old tapes in which Hillary said laughingly of the attacker:
I had him take a polygraph, which he passed—which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.
Hillary supporters are arguing that she was merely doing her job, which was to defend her client. They also note that she has been an advocate for rape-victim rights since. Of course, it's also impossible to know the exact details of what happened, especially as it was so long ago. Still, considering Hillary's women's rights platform, this is a troubling story. As it's still very new, it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Hard Choices Media Blitz Puts Hillary in the Fox News, CNN Hot Seat
Earlier this week, CNN and archnemesis Fox News had Hillary on to promote her new memoir, Hard Choices. On both shows, Hillary was (surprise!) grilled over Benghazi, as well as Libya and other foreign affairs. Most pundits agree she handled the questions confidently, and even left Fox News unbruised. Meanwhile, over on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart gloriously lampooned the fact that both networks claimed their interview was "exclusive." To quote The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Hillary Eases up on Marijuana Stance
In lighter news, Hillary admitted on the CNN interview that maybe legalizing pot isn't such a bad idea after all. Rather than outright bashing legalization, she said it'd be wise to "wait and see what the evidence is" from the two states to have already sanctioned cannabis. Stoners for Hillary 2016?
Hillary Must-Reads of the Week
MediaMatters.com and FiveThirtyEight.com have used their impressive reporting prowess to whip up Hillary long reads well worth a gander. MediaMatters has written a thorough rundown (one might say takedown) of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who has a long history of hammering Hillary in her snarky columns. Using stats and detailed analysis, the site calls Dowd out for her blatant biases and "ham-handed attempts at psychoanalysis." Burn!
Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight.com has exhaustively crunched the numbers to determine when Hillary will likely announce she's running. Its verdict? Within the first couple months of 2015. We shall see . . . but in any case, this story is a fine piece of dogged political analysis.
In terms of polling, according to NBC News, Americans are divided over a potential Hillary presidency, though she's still ahead handily in presumptive Dem races.
Meanwhile, all eyes remain on the rape victim interview, which—regardless of how it plays out in the political arena, or what the truth of this particular case is—sheds much-needed light on the travesties of sexual abuse injustice.
Image: Wikimedia Commons