Clinton attacks against Obama vanish on Web

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EXCLUSIVE:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has scrubbed all negative ads from her campaign Web site and YouTube page, leaving visitors with only the warm and fuzzy moments from her bid for the presidency.

Gone are the attack ads accusing Sen. Barack Obama of insulting Pennsylvanians, ducking debates and making misleading assertions about gas prices. In their place are some of the campaign’s best and most positive ads and multiple “Hillary I Know” testimonials that have a shelf life should the former first lady ever run again.

The whitewashing took place quietly in the past few days as Mr. Obama cut his former rival a check to help relieve her campaign debt and as the Clinton family moved to fully embrace Mr. Obama as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

“She’s no longer campaigning for president,” said Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee. “She’s focused on her work in the Senate, campaigning for Senator Obama and other Democrats.”

Mr. Elleithee said the videos probably are archived.

Also missing are the dozens of speeches and hundreds of press releases running back to Mrs. Clinton’s January 2007 campaign announcement. Many offered reporters details about important endorsements or the scripts of TV ads, but dozens were dedicated to countering the senator from Illinois.

“Misleading attack: Sen. Obama flubs in Ohio,” one release read. Another blared, in capital letters, “NAFTA-gate: False denials from the Obama campaign.”

Also gone are campaign memos, such as Mark Penn’s Feb. 2 “Hillary is the Democrat to beat McCain,” or the May 19 missive by Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson complaining that Mr. Obama was about to declare that he had won a majority of delegates: “Mission Accomplished? Not so fast.”

The only releases left at HillaryClinton.com are a statement about the death of NBC’s Tim Russert and the text of Mrs. Clinton’s June 9 speech suspending her campaign after Mr. Obama earned enough delegates to lock up the nomination.

The separate “Fact Hub” Web site that rebuked the Obama campaign has gone dead, along with “Attack Timeline” that detailed every nasty remark by Mr. Obama or his surrogates during the long primary battle.

By contrast, the Obama Fact Check page on his campaign site still offers rebuttals to Clinton attacks dating back to its creation in fall 2007.

HillaryHub, a site showcasing positive press coverage, also has been removed.

The Hillary TV page that once featured fundraising appeals and dozens of ads — including those with Bill Clinton on a treadmill and the former first couple in a “Sopranos” spoof — now offers just five videos.

In one, she heartily endorses Mr. Obama’s candidacy. In another, she thanks supporters and tells them, “I could not have made this part of the journey without you.”

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About the Author

Christina Bellantoni

Christina Bellantoni is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times in Washington, D.C., a post she took after covering the 2008 Democratic presidential campaigns. She has been with The Times since 2003, covering state and Congressional politics before moving to national political beat for the 2008 campaign. Bellantoni, a San Jose native, graduated from UC Berkeley with ...

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