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September 23rd, 2013
06:08 PM ET

Hillary Clinton, infighting, and the return of 'Clincest'

Two magazine pieces went live on the the same day, one a largely flattering piece in New York Magazine, which basically argues Hillary Clinton learned from her mistakes and is ready for 2016. The other, a piece in The New Republic on a Bill Clinton aide which highlights all the baggage and drama of the inner Clinton world.

This was probably not the roll out that the Clintons, and the Hillary Clinton team wanted. The interview with New York Magazine was likely planned and in the works, and then this other story from The New Republic stepped on the message.

Ready for Hillary SuperPAC is launching a video later this week to announce that it has one million supporters, a move that former adviser to Clinton's 2008 campaign Tracy Sefl said shows that the broader public does not pay attention to reported dramas.

"You've got whatever people want to call the little microdramas and the things that fuel a lot of stories like these, and then you've got let's just call it the rest of the world, where it doesn't seem to make a difference," said Sefl, who is also an adviser to the Ready for Hillary SuperPAC.

The negative press may be negligible in the long run, said political reporter for Yahoo! News Chris Moody.

"We're rolling into fall 2013 right now. There's a lot of time left. I think this is the kind of thing that kind of evaporates over time," said Moody.

The New Republic article reveals, at the very least, that there are problems with the inner workings of the Clinton world, highlighting a problem that has plagued the the Clintons in the past – that people around them want to take shots at each other instead of uniting.

"I'm reminded of a story which I think The New Republic ran back in 1993 about the coziness and infighting of the Clinton world, and it was called 'Clincest,'" said editor for the National Review Ramesh Ponnuru.

"There wasn't really anything particularly scandalous that's been revealed here. It's sort of like the ghost of scandal future that's being told in some of these stories," said Ponnuru. "What the opponents of the Clintons in both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party want to say is, if you liked all the scandals we had in the past, get ready for more if you elevate her again."

For more of this discussion, including analysis of the pending government shutdown, watch the video above.

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