Hillary Watch: Larry Flynt Speaks His Mind

Two loathsome libertines recently opined about Hillary’s potential 2008 presidential bid. Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt is angry at Sen. Clinton for turning her back on him.

On Aug. 25, 2005, the famed pornographer donated $1,000 to Hillary, according to the third quarter filing by the former First Lady’s Senate campaign. But it was recently revealed that less than a month later, Hillary returned the check.

“It’s unbelievable,” Flynt told Newsday. “But I’m used to this kind of hypocrisy.” Flynt is apparently hurt enough to rethink his political affiliation: “I’ve been a lifelong Democrat,” cried Flynt, “but I guess I’m going to have to find a third party or maybe some Republicans.”

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton told an Israeli television station that his wife would make a better U.S. President in some ways than he did. The former President said that Hillary would enter the White House with far more experience and perspective than he had when he was elected President in 1992.

“First, she has the Senate experience I didn’t have. Second, she would have had the eight years in the White House,” said Mr. Clinton. “I think she wouldn’t make as many mistakes because, you know, we’re older and more mature, and she is far more experienced now in all the relevant ways than I was when I took office.”

Sweet Virginia

Along with almost all her fellow Democrats, Hillary kept a close eye on this year’s elections. But this was true especially for the race for Virginia governor, as the outcome could favorably affect the fortunes of a potential opponent in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.

Term-limited Virginia Gov. Mark Warner is known as a “moderate” Democrat, and his coming from a Southern state could help attract Democratic primary voters who don’t want another Northeastern, liberal presidential candidate. Warner strongly and visibly supported Democrat Tim Kaine as his successor, and Kaine’s victory will likely help keep Warner in the national spotlight.

“If Kaine wins, it’s because of Mark Warner’s popularity, and if Kilgore loses, it’s because of President Bush’s unpopularity,” argued University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato before the election. A Democrat operative claimed “if Kaine loses, we think it will hurt [Warner’s] chances to become the so-called ‘anti-Hillary candidate.’”

Trip to Israel

Hillary is planning on making a trip next week to Israel, just in time to help cement her support among Jewish voters in New York as she faces re-election next year. Her visit will include meetings on security issues with top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Specifically, Sen. Clinton plans to talk to Sharon about Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and to affirm her condemnation of remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of Israel.

Hillary will also visit part of the security fence in the West Bank the Israeli government built to protect its citizens from terrorists. This trip will be Sen. Clinton’s second to the Holy Land since she took office.

Unseemly Campaign Work

 Long Island Newsday reports Sen. Clinton “is paying eight full-time Senate staffers as much as $2,600 in extra monthly wages to moonlight as campaign operatives.” Among those receiving this extra cash was Hillary’s $100,000-a-year communications director, who worked on her campaign during the month of September.

This “double-dipping” system is legal under Senate and Federal Election Commission rules, and is used by a handful of other senators, including Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) and Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.), but this doesn’t make it right.

“I think the appearance is not good,” said political finance expert Gene Russianoff, staff attorney with the New York Public Interest Research Group. “How do you separate what’s good for the candidate and what’s good for the public? It seems to just add to the power of incumbency and adds to the cynicism of voters.”


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