This Week in Hillary-World: Lewinsky's Baaack! (And Other Actual News)

Each week, we explore Hillary Clinton's universe, gleaning insights from rumor-mongers, pundits, pollsters, political writers 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.

Monica Lewinsky: She's Ba-ack!

As we wrote earlier in the week, Monica Lewinsky in back in the news thanks to a questionably fluffy Vanity Fair interview—and the media has been in a tizzy about what her return could mean for Hills. While this scandal from the past could be seen as detrimental, many pundits have actually called it a potential asset for Hillary, because people tended to side and sympathize with her during the initial sordid affair.

"The Lewinsky Scandal Was Absolutely Fantastic for Hillary Clinton," effused Slate.

"Monica Lewinsky does Hillary Clinton a big favor," opined The Washington Post.

"Why Monica Lewinsky's Tell-All Won't Hurt Hillary Clinton," trumpeted The Huffington Post.

This positive spin on the news could be attributed to a media halo surrounding Hillary and her "Chosen One" status. But it does seem true that Lewinsky's reappearance, at the very least, won't do much in the way of lasting damage. Most feel fatigued about Lewinsky, not fired up, and her return to the spotlight has happened very early in the presidential run (remember: Hillary still hasn't officially announced she's running). As is the case with most lurid sex scandals, this one should blow over fast.

Rahm Emanuel Backs Hillary

Former Obama chief of staff and current Windy City mayor Rahm Emanuel has thrown his support behind Hillary by announcing he will headline two fundraisers for a Hillary Super PAC. Considering Emanuel's long tenure in the Obama administration, this may be ruffling the feathers of veep Joe Biden, who's also a potential presidential contender. But then again, Emanuel was a senior advisor for the Clinton administration before joining Obama's team, so his ties run deep on both sides. Also significant: Emanuel thinks Hillary would most likely win if she ran, for a "whole host of reasons."

Hillary Circuitously Blamed for Nigerian Terrorist Group

As we also covered earlier this week, the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram is in the news after kidnapping nearly 300 schoolgirls. In response, the GOP has (but of course) taken Hillary to task, because during her tenure as Secretary of State, she declined to put the group on the official terrorist organization list. As is often the case with issues of international terrorism, the decision was fraught with tension and nuance, but this attack does point to the potential liabilities of her former high-powered government position. Will she be blamed for other terrorist acts down the road? Bet on it.

And Now, Policy News: Hillary Cracks Down on American Gun Culture

This week, we gleaned another potentially significant insight into Hillary's views when she slammed our current gun culture—and pretty damn forcefully too, calling it "way out of balance" and saying that anybody anywhere being able to have a gun is not "in the best interest of the vast majority of people." Preach!

The Lowdown

This was a pretty meaty week for Hillary news, but not necessarily an incredibly impactful one. Lewinsky should disappear quickly from public interest. So, in all honesty, should Boko Haram, simply because the public tends not to care much about international affairs (sad, but true). As for Emanuel, his support is significant, but it's too early to know what impact, if any, it will really have.

In terms of polling, Hillary's slightly down in democratic support, but still dominating the field. Meanwhile—random!—another poll reveals she and Laura Bush are the most admired First Ladies of the last 25 years. (One other tidbit of note: Timothy Geithner apparently suggested Hillary as his successor as Treasure Department secretary. Wonder what that would have been like?) 

Yes folks, you never know what you'll dig up in the world of Hillary. What will happen next week? Stay tuned!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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