What people don't know about Hillary

Can Clinton's campaign sell the candidate by selling her Midwestern roots?

By Tim Grieve

Published July 3, 2007 1:56PM (EDT)

"There's still a lot that voters don't know about Hillary. I always ask people where she's born and most people don't get that right." --- Clinton pollster and strategist Mark Penn, who hopes that voters who say they won't even consider voting for the candidate might change their minds once they learn of her Midwestern roots.

As the Los Angeles Times reports today, the Clinton campaign is "deep into a concerted, poll-tested effort to sway the public conversation about her in the primary states where it matters most, portraying her as both Midwestern family woman and accomplished national leader instead of a lightning rod for ceaseless political warfare."

Clinton's aides call the process a continuation of the work they did in New York to get her elected to the U.S. Senate. During that run, the Times says, "psychologists hired by Clinton's campaign were startled by the intense anger she aroused among middle-aged and older suburban female voters." In a not-exactly-winning-the-hearts-and-minds formulation, one of those psychologists tells the Times that the women who were angry with Clinton were "projecting their own internal issues on her."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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