Clinton's Foray Into Giuliani Territory
In a stark, black-and-white ad that pictures her in a mask at Ground Zero, Hillary Clinton is treading onto Rudolph W. Giuliani's turf.
The new commercial, launched today in Iowa and New Hampshire, marks the New York senator's attempt to position herself as a champion of those whose health was endangered by the attacks at the World Trade Center. The aftermath of 9/11 has long been considered Giuliani's greatest strength, but the former New York mayor has also drawn criticism for failing to adequately safeguard the health of rescue workers.
"She stood by Ground Zero workers who sacrificed their health after so many sacrificed their lives, and kept standing until this administration took action," the ad says. The reference is to Clinton's support for a medical screening and monitoring program for the disaster workers.
Clinton claims credit, as a co-sponsor, for expanding access to military health care for National Guard members, a measure passed last year by a Republican-controlled Congress.
The commercial also plays off President Bush's veto of a $35-billion expansion of a popular children's health insurance program, saying that with all the Democratic presidential candidates pushing health care plans, "which one do you think will never back down?"
The spot attempts to turn the 1994 failure of the health care plan Clinton promoted as first lady into a political plus, saying she "stood up for universal health care when almost no one else would, and kept standing until 6 million kids had coverage." In fact, plenty of Democrats supported universal coverage in the early 1990s, and Clinton was one voice among many in persuading Congress to pass the children's health program whose expansion is now the subject of a veto battle with Bush.
Washington Post editors
October 4, 2007; 1:00 PM ET
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