Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, shown here in her official White House First Lady photo, courtesy of the Library of Congress, castigated President Bush and Congressional Republicans yesterday as being mad with power and self-righteousness, complained that the news media have been timid in taking on the administration, and suggested that some Washington Republicans have a God complex.
Senator Clinton, who is running for a second term in 2006 and is widely seen as a possible Democratic nominee for the presidency in 2008, said that her party was hamstrung in fighting back because Republicans dissemble and smear without shame.
While she has recently highlighted her moderate views, her remarks yesterday were starkly partisan and meant to rally her most loyal supporters at a time when at least four New York Republicans are preparing to run against her. She made the remarks at a Midtown hotel to about 1,000 supporters at a "Women for Hillary" breakfast that was her first major Senate re-election fund-raiser. Contributions from the event totaled about $250,000.
The senator said that left unchallenged, Republican leaders could ram through extremist judges, wreck Social Security, and make unacceptable concessions to China, Saudi Arabia and other nations that finance the United States budget deficit.
Republicans dismissed her remarks as political pandering to a partisan audience.
"Maybe Hillary Clinton should focus a little more on being the junior senator for New York, and a little less on running for president," said Stephen J. Minarik III, chairman of the state Republican Party.