Eleanor Clift

Stories by Eleanor Clift

  • Clift:The Hillary I Know

    At a Washington hotel in the spring of 1992, I had tea with Hillary Clinton. I remember thinking that if it weren't for the tape recorder perched on the table between us, we could be friends. I really identified with her, her passion for the issues, her earnestness about doing good works. I defended her at every turn on "The McLaughlin Group."The moderator began calling me Eleanor Rodham Clift. Hillary and I would laugh about that, and after the Republican Revolution in 1994, she seemed genuinely concerned that I would pay a price for this sisterly solidarity. She has shown me other kindnesses as well. The day after my husband died following a long battle with cancer, Hillary called me at home. Her first words were, "Oh, Eleanor, oh, oh, oh." We talked about the vagaries of life, and how quickly things can slip away. Bill Clinton had undergone heart surgery the previous fall. He was getting his energy back, she said, but he was impatient. We talked awhile, and she told me when I was...
  • They Make Me Feel Super

    You've probably never heard of Debra Kozikowski, but Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama sure have. Since Super Tuesday, heavyweights from both campaigns have been wooing Kozikowski, a Massachusetts Democratic Party official. Obama enlisted her governor, Deval Patrick, to deliver a plea on the candidate's behalf, while Clinton asked party elder Harold Ickes to speak with her. Why the star treatment? Kozikowski is a "superdelegate," one of 796 politicians and party loyalists who get a vote for the nomination. This year their votes could make all the difference. In most presidential elections, one candidate racks up enough delegates in primaries and caucuses to capture the 2,025 needed to cinch the nomination; the superdelegates are mostly symbolic. But so far the primaries have yet to produce a clear winner—and as a result, those 796 "supers" suddenly have a lot more friends. (The Republican Party does not have superdelegates.)Louisiana superdelegate Claude (Buddy) Leach told NEWSWEEK...
  • Clift: Hillary’s New Persona

    Clinton has abandoned a controlled and cautious persona for a more passionate fighting version of herself. Will post-N.H. voters buy it?
  • Clift: Obama’s Universal Appeal

    Obama's appeal transcends race and party. His Iowa victory suggests that it may be possible to reclaim the national unity America has lost.
  • Clift: Honoring Brave Journalists

    What the gritty bravery of journalists from Iraq, Mexico and Zimbabwe can teach us about America and moral responsibility.
  • Carter's Book Tour from Hell

    Jimmy Carter has been called a bigot, an anti-Semite, a liar, a plagiarist and a coward. By the time the former president appeared on the Jay Leno show toward the end of a grueling national tour to promote his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Carter was losing his voice. He'd been building houses in New Orleans's Ninth Ward with Habitat for Humanity, one of his many pet projects, and it was cold, and the commercial flight to the Coast didn't help. Leno seemed astounded that a former president didn't take a private jet. "I would if I had one," Carter quipped. Don't you have friends in high places that would send a plane for you? Leno pressed. "Not since this book came out," Carter said with a wry laugh.The book, or rather the book tour, is the focus of a new documentary, "Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains," by Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme, and it is bound to revive the controversy over Carter's use of the word "apartheid" to describe the state of the Palestinian people....
  • Clift: The Limbo of Joe Lieberman

    Neither side fully trusts the 'Independent' senator as he straddles an awkward divide between his former party and his Republican friends.
  • Clift: Why Is Howard Dean So Quiet?

    Howard Dean has been oddly quiet lately while intraparty squabbling over the Dems' primary calendar escalates. What gives?
  • ‘I Hope I’M Wrong’

    Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is one of the leading proponents of a Senate resolution opposing President Bush’s plan to send additional combat troops into Iraq. The nonbinding measure has created divisions within the GOP; some colleagues have accused Sen. John Warner of Virginia, the chief Republican sponsor of the resolution, of undermining the troops, a charge Collins strongly refutes.Collins traveled to Iraq as part of a Senate delegation in December, and returned convinced that putting more troops into Baghdad would not stop the violence. She joined forces with Warner and Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in cosponsoring the resolution. The measure is broadly popular with Democrats—but its fate hinges on how many Republicans are willing to break with Bush and vote against his plan.Collins, one of 22 Senate Republicans up for re-election in ’08, is a moderate who often bucks her party. But many of her colleagues are in unfamiliar...
  • Clift: Bringing the War Home With Them

    A new film by the Oscar-winning director of 'Crash' spotlights the growing ranks of U.S. combat veterans who are returning from battle scarred by PTSD.
  • Clift: John Dingell, in Turnaround

    The man they call 'Tailpipe John' on Capitol Hill for his tight ties to the auto industry has had a change of heart on global warming and carbon emissions. Or has he?
  • Clift: Top Dems Line Up for Senate Seats

    Bush's report on Iraq may have shored up his support in the Senate. But his determination to keep 130,000 U.S. troops there has left a gap for a parade of prime-time Democrats to turn Red States blue in the '08 election.
  • Clift: A Tale of Two Parties

    Two gatherings in the nation's capital help point up the difference between theorizing about war—and fighting one.
  • Clift: Marketing the War

    September marks the media rollout for the next stage of the White House campaign to keep boots on the ground in Iraq. Will General Petraeus stick to the script?