Washington Post diplomatic correspondent and chief Hillary Clinton cheerleader Anne Gearan devoted 41 paragraphs today to an examination of "How Democrats' big losses [in the 2014 midterms] could be Clinton's 2016 gain."
"The Republican takeover of the Senate could be good news for at least one Democrat: Hillary Rodham Clinton," Gearan enthused in the lead paragraph of her page A16 story adding:
Clinton campaigned hard this fall for Democrats, working to boost the party’s effort to preserve its Senate majority — an effort that failed dramatically in Tuesday’s GOP midterm rout.
But many Democratic strategists said the switch to Republican control may have a silver lining for Clinton, helping her better define herself as she shapes a potential 2016 presidential campaign. By providing a convenient foil for her and other Democrats, a GOP-run Congress would make it less imperative for Clinton to highlight her differences with President Obama, these strategists said.
Obama’s damaged, lame-duck condition also makes Clinton the strongest Democrat left standing.
It wasn't until paragraph 11 that Gearan brought up the "short-term damage from Tuesday's Democratic losses" and her role in them as "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a likely presidential candidate in 2016, said Wednesday on CNN that the election was 'not only a repudiation of the president, but, I think, really a repudiation of Hillary Clinton.'"
Gearan waited another 17 paragraphs to mention Sen. Rand Paul's cheeky #HillarysLosers Twitter posts, but then quickly added that potential "long-shot" challenger Martin O'Malley, the lame-duck Democratic governor of Maryland saw his hand-picked successor "trounced by Republican businessman Larry Hogan."
The overall message was clear.
Lacking any credible primary challengers, "Clinton appears unhurried," Gearan observed in paragraph 31, "She has said she will decide on a candidacy after Jan. 1." And surely, "she can afford to wait," she added in the next paragraph, citing Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf.
Gearan then turned to Clinton White House alumnus and Democratic hack extraordinaire Paul Begala to spin away the stench of failure that could be affixed to Hillary this disastrous midterm season for the Democrats:
Clinton headlined Democratic events that raked in millions of dollars for others this year, and she would be expected to break fundraising records for a general election. Paul Begala, a Clinton White House adviser who remains close to both Clintons, said the couple put “money in the bank” politically with heavy schedules promoting Democrats nationwide this year.
“These two [Bill and Hillary Clinton] are the most popular Democrats in America, and they put that popularity on the line for folks in trouble in a bad year,” Begala said. “I am quite sure all this campaigning will put a sizable dent in Hillary’s post-State Department stratospheric poll numbers.”
In other words: Hillary was a good soldier and it's not her fault that candidates she campaigned for in tight races lost badly.