Washington – In his first in-depth interview since the election, former President Bill Clinton said he warned Mrs. Clinton early on that she needed to project a tougher image to attract independents.
“We had a great TV spot ready to run in the battleground states,” Clinton told CNN’s Larry King, “but Hillary thought it made her look too hawkish and nixed it. That was probably a mistake.”
Aired publicly for the first time, the ad opens with Senator Clinton in full field gear patrolling Fallujah with a joint American-Iraqi unit.
Barking at her Secret Service detail to keep up, Mrs. Clinton is shown sprinting from house to house, her modified M14 with a Leupold LR/T 10 x 40 mm M3 carried lightly on her shoulder.
Pausing behind a wall after the patrol takes sniper fire, Clinton speaks to the camera: ”Bush screwed up in Iraq. You trust me with your vote, I’m going to be hands-on and make it right. [Shots] Gotta go. [Spits her chaw] Third floor window, left! Jones, Moorehead–cover us! Rest of you, follow me!” [More shots as Clinton and her unit scale the wall, firing their weapons.]
[Announcer] “Hillary Rodham Clinton. She will fight for you.”
“She’s one tough hombre,” President Clinton told King, revealing that Hillary considered taking a week off from campaigning to hunt bin Laden in Pakistan’s tribal no-go areas.
“I remember her saying, ‘If I find the bastard, I’ll saw his head off and give it to the Smithsonian.’ Eventually, Hillary decided to keep that side of herself hidden from the public,” Clinton said. “So she went with the softer image, and we know how that worked out.”