- The Washington Times - Monday, March 6, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday told an audience that she considers it “a badge of honor” when Republicans say she is too angry to win national office.

Democrats, particularly Democratic women, who run for public office are “going to draw some unfriendly fire,” Mrs. Clinton said at a breakfast fundraiser hosted by female black and Hispanic supporters. “People will be attacking you instead of your ideas, they may impugn your patriotism, they may even say you’re angry.”

“If they do that, wear it as a badge of honor, because you know what? There are lots of things that we should be angry and outraged about these days,” the New York Democrat said.

It was the latest volley in a rhetorical back-and-forth between Mrs. Clinton and leading Republicans that began last month, when Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman said the former first lady “seems to have a lot of anger” and that American voters tend not to elect angry candidates.

Top White House strategist Karl Rove has expressed similar opinions.

Mr. Mehlman pointed to comments Mrs. Clinton made on Martin Luther King Day, when she called the Bush administration “one of the worst” in history, and likened the Republican-controlled House to a plantation.

Mrs. Clinton, who has not yet said whether she’s considering a presidential run in 2008, first called the attacks a diversion from Republican “failures and shortcomings.”

Then, last week, she said, “Karl Rove spends a lot of time obsessing about me,” suggesting he spends more time thinking about her political future than she does.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said Republicans are casting Mrs. Clinton “as an Angry Woman, a she-monster melding images of Medea, the Furies, harpies, a knife-wielding Glenn Close in ‘Fatal Attraction.’”

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tara Wall said Mrs. Clinton invites criticism.

“When you vote to consistently raise people’s taxes, vote against common-sense judicial nominees and use Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday to divide Americans along racial lines, you’re likely to encourage criticism of both your ideas and temperament,” Ms. Wall said.

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