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Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) gestures as she addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3F2ZD Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) gestures as she addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3F2ZD  

Did Team Obama Really Ask Hillary To Attack Sarah Palin?

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

As you might have heard, there are revelations in Hillary Clinton’s new memoir that the Obama campaign asked her to attack Sarah Palin.

And Clinton reiterated this on the Today Show:

“The day [Palin] was nominated, the Obama campaign did contact me and asked me if I would attack her,” Clinton said in an interview with NBC’s Cynthia McFadden … “I said, ‘Attack her for what — for being a woman?

Interestingly, though, this contradicts the line Team Clinton pushed at the time.

“She’s not the answer when it comes to winning conservative women — she never was — and we’re not going to be anybody’s attack dog against Sarah Palin,” said a Clinton insider. “To be fair to Obama’s people, they haven’t asked us to do that.” [Emphasis mine.]

I’m inclined to believe Hillary now. Clearly, the plan was to go after Palin — and who was better equipped to do this dirty work than Hillary? But having just been defeated by Obama, it also stands to reason that Clinton was probably in no mood to be Obama’s hatchet woman. What is more, Bill Clinton, at least, seemed to believe that Palin was a very talented political figure who might have had some real resonance — even among Clinton’s base. At the time, attacking a female vice presidential nominee probably seemed a lot more risky.

Here’s a video of Bill Clinton talking about Palin that, I think, will give you a sense of their calculus: