Good Morning
Good Morning

Papers from Clinton's time as first lady made public

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton wrote and circled the word "no" next to future Vice President Joe Biden's name on a list of lawmakers who supported or opposed her health care plan in 1993, according to newly released documents from the Clinton presidential library.

Her eventual successor as secretary of state, John Kerry, was marked as "probably not" with a rectangle sketched around the two words.

None of them ever got to vote on Clinton's health care proposal. It died politically before reaching the chambers of Congress, handing her an early and stinging defeat as President Bill Clinton's first lady.

The documents were part of the fourth set of Clinton administration records released by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., and the largest so far.

The material will be scanned by Republicans for potential fodder for attacks against Clinton, who is the early front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Already this year, the Republican National Committee and party-aligned outside groups have tied Clinton to the Affordable Care Act -- known as "Obamacare" -- because of her behind-the-scenes role in advocating for its passage when she was secretary of state.

The documents also show the Clinton White House kept a dossier on what Hillary Clinton once called the "vast right-wing conspiracy." The binder of opposition research on Republicans was indexed with topics such as "Communications on the Net Between Congressional Republicans and Right Wing Conspiracy Theory Proponents."

The research file, kept in the office of Special Counsel Jane Sherburne, laid out a "communication stream of conspiracy commerce" theory.

"This is how the stream works," the author of the document, who isn't identified, wrote. "First, well-funded right wing think tanks and individuals underwrite conservative newsletters," then post them on the Internet "where they are bounced all over the world" before landing in mainstream media.

"After the mainstream right-of-center American media covers the story, congressional committees will look at the story" and then "the story now has the legitimacy to be covered" by everyone else.

Richard Mellon Scaife, the newspaper publisher and Mellon fortune heir, is the central player identified in the dossier as a funder of "fringe, right-wing publications."

Scaife years later praised the former first lady in an opinion article during the 2008 presidential primaries.

"I have a very different impression of Hillary Clinton today," he wrote in his newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "And it's a very favorable one indeed." Clinton won the state.

Scaife also has donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to what is now known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

News Photos and Videos