The Clinton Machine Lives -- And Matures

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On Tuesday, Ben Smith, a long-time Clinton chronicler at Politico, fronted a clever story heralding the demise of the Clinton political machine, which has remained virtually silent since a passel of unflattering revelations leaked out this weekend about the revelations in "Game Change."

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Smith observed that many senior Clinton advisers were probably sources for the authors and couldn't very well be asked to respond to characterizations they themselves made. This, he concludes, was a violation of the ultimate Clinton world taboo: "These people have violated the Clinton world's final taboo: After savaging one another in the press for more than a year, the former aides finally turned on the principals."

Not denied were thinly sourced reports that Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair in 2007 (half a sentence in the book), or that Clinton offended Ted Kennedy by ridiculing Obama, or that Hillary Clinton had encouraged campaign aides to play up Obama's early-in-life drug use.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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