In its continuing front-page series on Hillary Clinton, the New York Times today features a profile of the candidate as she shapes her image on the road, including details as minute as how she autographs a poster (with "none of the two-second scribbles of other politicians" -- see graphic of signature here.)
As for her image, the Times looks closely at the many faces of Hillary Clinton, including that of "Nurturing Warrior" – which means, among other things, that she is a "a giggly mom who invokes old Girl Scout songs and refuses to apologize for voting for the Iraq War Resolution in 2002."
The Times also examines the many nods of Hillary Clinton as "The Listener," a persona in which she is a "prodigious nodder." That "array of distinctive flavors" includes everything from "the empathetic, lips-pursed nod" to the "squinty, disbelieving nod."
Clinton also invokes "The Sister Act," regularly mentioning "familiar female grievances"; and finally, she is the "Tough Hostess," which means, at least, that "she is not above trash talk."
More Fallout At Walter Reed
Yesterday's hearing on the treatment of soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center floods the front pages today, where testimony from wounded soldiers was "wrenching," and Army officials provided "contrite promises" to improve conditions at the hospital, as the New York Times put it.
The Washington Post writes that yesterday's hearing was only the first in "what is likely to be a string of hearings probing problems at Walter Reed and in military health care more broadly."
After last month's Washington Post series on deplorable conditions and a mess of bureaucratic red tape at Walter Reed – not to mention other high-profile reports on the lack of adequate care for wounded soldiers returning from Iraq – the Los Angeles Times compares the "burgeoning scandal" over veteran health care to "the government's flawed response to Hurricane Katrina."
The White House is already making moves to "get ahead of the political furor" by putting together a bipartisan commission to examine problems in the VA, writes the Post. Everyone mentions Vice President Dick Cheney's remarks at a meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday, where he said "There will be no excuses, only action," regarding improvements to veteran health care.
The New York Times mentions a possible outcome that military officials suggested – that "it might be time to re-evaluate whether Walter Reed should be closed in several years, as had been previously planned as part of a national base reorganization process."
Clouds Over Sunny Iraq
Yet another poll on Americans' view of the war in Iraq has been released, today's comes from USA Today and Gallup to reveal that only 28 percent of those surveyed believe that the United States "will probably or definitely win the war." In December, that number was 35 percent and is the lowest percentage since the question was first posed to poll subjects in Sept. 2005.
House Democrats, meanwhile, are still conducting their version of "legislative jujitsu in the backrooms of Capitol Hill," to push a proposal that "would place restrictions on President Bush's ability to wage the war in Iraq but would allow him to waive them if he publicly justifies his position."
The Post explains that this plan is more political maneuver than actual policy, as Democrats are seeking to "bridge the differences" between anti-war Democrats who want to force Bush to delay some deployments and bring some troops home, and Democrats "wary of seeming to place restrictions on the president's role as commander in chief."
A NOTE TO READERS: The Skinny is now available via e-mail for those of you umbilically attached to your blackberries and whatnot. Click here and follow the directions to register to receive it in your inbox each weekday morning.