Hey, it worked for McCain

Hillary Clinton's staff goes after the New York Times for a critical article it published.

Published February 26, 2008 9:13PM (EST)

For now, the only effect a New York Times article on John McCain's possible relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman seems to have had on McCain's campaign is, actually, a positive one. Perceiving McCain as under attack by an organization they actually like even less than they like the presumptive Republican nominee, conservatives finally had a reason to rally around him, and they did -- not only did they come to his defense, they helped contribute to what was reportedly an Internet fundraising record for him.

Now Hillary Clinton's campaign appears to be taking a page from McCain's playbook. In response to a gloomy piece that ran in the Times on Sunday, headlined "Somber Clinton Soldiers On as the Horizon Darkens," 503 Clinton staffers and volunteers signed a letter to the editor sent to the Times that read, in part,

The unnamed advisers and aides the story relies on speak for nobody but themselves.

The rest of us -- thousands of her supporters, friends, members of her staff and volunteers -- are working tirelessly each and every day and night, because we believe in Hillary. We believe she will win the nomination. We believe she will win in November. And we know she will make the best President of the United States.

The Times declined to run the letter, though. Andy Rosenthal, the Times' editorial page editor, explained the decision to Politico's Michael Calderone, saying, "the letter was not a letter to the editor... It's a press release from the Clinton campaign."

The Clinton campaign released the text from the letter, and the signatures to it, to the Huffington Post, which reports that the reason the Times gave for not publishing the letter was that the space needed to be saved for "ordinary readers." Individual letters sent to the Times were also rejected, HuffPo reports.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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2008 Elections Hillary Rodham Clinton The New York Times War Room