A story placed by the RNC in today's Hill is case in point:

Republicans plan to seize on an allegation from the 1992 presidential campaign to tarnish Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on the red-hot issue of government surveillance.

In their book about Clinton’s rise to power, Her Way, Don Van Natta Jr., an investigative reporter at The New York Times, and Jeff Gerth, who spent 30 years as an investigative reporter at the paper, wrote: “Hillary’s defense activities ranged from the inspirational to the microscopic to the down and dirty. She received memos about the status of various press inquiries; she vetted senior campaign aides; and she listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack.

“The tape contained discussions of another woman who might surface with allegations about an affair with Bill,” Gerth and Van Natta wrote in reference to Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. “Bill’s supporters monitored frequencies used by cell phones, and the tape was made during one of those monitoring sessions.”

So -- what will the Republicans seize, who's doing the seizing, and why telegtraph your plans in a newspaper article?

1. This is a trial balloon floated by the RNC to see whether anyone bites.

2. The RNC is willing to associate itself with the Clinton sex stuff. Also: the Clinton's tenure in Arkansas is fair game.

3. The RNC wants state parties to start challenging Clinton. As if on cue, this news release came this morning from the Republican Party of Arkansas:

"Today, Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Dennis Milligan called on State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to investigate the fact that New York Senator Hillary Clinton may have eavesdropped and recorded political opponents' telephone conversations while her husband was Governor of Arkansas."

4. The RNC doesn't mind the world knowing that they're going to throw everything, including the kitchen plumbing, at Hillary Clinton.

5. From a reader:

"My guess on that RNC thing was that they did it that way because they knew it would get them a story on Drudge -- classic ploy, "we plan to use this in an attack" sources say...whereas if they'd actually used it in an attack, it would have been widely ignored, because it's so thin."

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