POLITICO; by Glenn Thrush; September 5, 2008
Hillary Rodham Clinton has no intention of becoming a Sarah Palin attack dog — but has no qualms going after John McCain, people close to the former first lady say.
“She’s not the answer when it comes to winning conservative women — she never was — and we’re not going to be anybody’s attack dog against Sarah Palin,” said a Clinton insider. “To be fair to Obama’s people, they haven’t asked us to do that.”
Slamming Palin to win back women already hostile to Obama is pointless, the insider said, because Clinton’s most loyal base is working-class voters, not women in particular. “Attacking Palin is checkers, attacking McCain on the economy is chess.”
Clinton will continue to yoke McCain and Palin to President Bush on pocketbook issues. But sources say that Clinton, who supports abortion rights, isn’t likely to criticize the Alaska governor for her anti-abortion stance. She may, however, question Palin’s record on equal-pay issues.
The Obama campaign, alarmed by Palin’s instant popularity, has given Clinton’s staff a proposed fall campaign schedule in economically distressed battleground states — including Ohio and Pennsylvania — where she did well during the primaries, according to people familiar with the situation.
The former first lady, who is due to appear at an Obama event in Florida on Monday, hasn’t gotten back to them yet. When she does, she’s likely to add a few stops of her own — fundraisers, including at least one in Texas to help her repay more than $20 million in debt incurred during the primary.
“They probably don’t want her in Texas, but, hey, that’s where the money is, so that’s where she’s going to go,” said a source familiar with travel planning.