15 June 2008

Hillary Clinton: AWOL?

For the previous 17 months/16 years, we have been used to Hillary Clinton's every step being captured by a legion of cameramen and a press corps of journalists from around the world.

But since her emotional concession speech last week she has been nowhere to be seen - causing an eruption of Washington speculation about exactly where the New York senator has gone.

What's more, members of her formal presidential campaign and her Senate staff aren't saying.

"She's enjoying some much-needed time with her family," said a staff member for her former campaign who asked not to be identified.

The two-term senator has a day job to return to, though no public events have yet to be scheduled and Clinton's Senate office is giving few clues on when she might return to the Hill.

"She'll be back before you know it," Philippe Reines, a senior adviser to Clinton said.

Laying low after a hard-fought presidential campaign is not exactly out of the ordinary.

After the 2000 presidential election, former Vice President Al Gore largely dodged the public eye, only to emerge six months later with a full beard. In 2004, John Kerry too took some down time after his loss to President Bush, though the Massachusetts Democrat was back in the Senate just over a week later.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton on Thursday made his first public appearance since his wife formally dropped her presidential bid, speaking at the eighth grade graduation of his nephew in Torrance, California.

According to the local paper, the Daily Breeze, the former president spoke for about 10 minutes and avoided any mention of the presidential campaign.

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