The Atlantic has an interesting piece on the rift between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, detailing how the former first lady took the Illinois senator under her wing only to see him shun her advice and become her opponent in the presidential race. Good stuff.
But what was particularly interesting about the piece was the suggestion that the Clinton campaign apparently has a hotline to conservative webmaster Matt Drudge, the fedora wearing troublemaker who introduced the world to Monica Lewinsky. According to the Atlantic report:
Perhaps the ultimate example of hard-won experience is the relationship that developed last year, brokered by an outside ally, between the Clinton campaign and a man who was once a sworn enemy: Matt Drudge, the Internet pioneer. (News of the Monica Lewinsky scandal first broke on the Drudge Report.) In a Democratic primary, news that the Clinton campaign is funneling information to Drudge is potentially explosive—few figures inspire more liberal wrath than Drudge. (When I confronted the mole, she confirmed the connection to Drudge, but first asked for anonymity.) Still, Drudge has proved a useful tool for the campaign in framing media coverage. When it became clear that Obama had raised more first-quarter money for the primary race than Clinton had, the Clinton campaign minimized the damage by preemptively leaking its own numbers to Drudge. “Clinton Blows the Field Away” was the headline on an exclusive Drudge story claiming she had raised $36 million. Only later, with much less fanfare, did it become clear that only $19 million would count toward the Democratic primary.
The Clinton campaign has also used Drudge to go on offense. In one example, an aide confirmed that the campaign sent Drudge a link to a story in which Michelle Obama seemed to take a swipe at Hillary Clinton over Bill’s infidelity. The story was presented—from Clinton to Drudge to the public—in a manner that was badly out of context, with a link to an exclusive videotape of Michelle Obama’s comment. But it nevertheless dominated the news cycle for 24 hours.