« The Daily 2008 | The RCP Blog Home Page | New Hampshire Poll »

Clinton, Kaplan and the Establishment

There's a mini-uproar brewing over the new CBS "Evening News" executive producer Rick Kaplan and his friendship with the Clintons.

Interestingly, the CBS News blog, Public Eye, is giving the issue some attention. Of course, blogger Brian Montopoli concludes that "Kaplan is capable of covering the Clintons fairly." Whether that's true, it's understandable that the right side of the blogosphere is howling about the perceived bias of a news executive who slept in the Clinton White House twice.

Otherwise, what we're reminded of in this story is just how ingrained Hillary Clinton is with the media and political powerbrokers. Does Barack Obama have any network news executive friends? He might, but those are the kinds of relationships one gets having lived and worked in the elite power circles of Washington and New York for the last 15 years. Being the Establishment Candidate comes with some fringe benefits.

Unfortunately for Clinton, the increasingly powerful left-wing base loathes the establishment. Straw polls aren't much good for anything other than gauging the mood of the activists, so it's worth noting that a recent straw poll conducted by the left-wing site MyDD came up with these results:

Candidate 1st Choice
Obama 36%
Edwards 33%
Richardson 10%
Clinton 5%
Kucinich 2%

Also remember how masterfully John Edwards stoked the left-wing's hatred of Fox News by being the first to drop out of the Nevada debate. That's the kind of thing the base loves and it's the kind of thing Clinton just can't do without ticking off some of her powerful friends - friends like Fox News' Rupert Murdoch, who, let's recall, held a fund-raiser for her last year.