In a fawning front-pager the Times gets all gooey about Hillary's many, many virtues as a leader and manager. However, they do hit one spped bump:
Over the years, Mrs. Clinton has won a reputation as a good boss. She is diligent about remembering birthdays and doing things like calling her Senate scheduler, Lona Valmoro, to offer condolences after her dachshund, Largo, was run over by a car.
Mrs. Clinton has also become more willing to delegate responsibility. “I’m not second-guessing the people I entrust to manage because I think I make good decisions on personnel,” she said.
In return, Mrs. Clinton has won the loyalty of her Senate and campaign staffs, a point underscored by the rarity of leaks and absence of kiss-and-tell memoirs from her camp. Of the seven participants in the Clinton campaign’s 7:30 a.m. conference call, most go back at least a decade with her.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, began working as her scheduler in Little Rock, Ark., during Mr. Clinton’s first campaign for the presidency. Only one of the group — Mike Henry, deputy campaign manager — is a relative newcomer.
Now, who does that sound like? Does anyone care to recall when Karen Hughes, Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett first fell in with George Bush?
To their credit the Times tackles this odious comparison head-on:
Mrs. Clinton’s orbit is known by the now-clichéd “Hillaryland,” suggesting a carefree atmosphere. In fact, she presides over an office of intense and focused workaholics, protective of their patron and wary of outsiders, a trait that has drawn comparisons to the leadership team of George W. Bush. The president surrounded himself with advisers who went back to his Texas days and were similarly lauded for loyalty and criticized for insularity.
“The Clinton campaign seems to be dominated by the same old people,” said William Mayer, a Northeastern University professor who is an expert on presidential campaigns.
Having a tight inner circle can cut both ways, Professor Mayer said. With Mr. Bush, he said, “it looked fine to have this group of loyal Texans in there, until his approval ratings went under 40 percent and there were no fresh eyes to see the mistakes.”
Mrs. Clinton, not surprisingly, bristles at such comparisons. She contrasts what she calls the “echo chamber” around the president with her own willingness to expand her own circle, hear disputes and solicit opposing views.
“I’m very interested in how you reach and implement decisions in a very efficient way,” she said.
Bush wrong, Hillary right - that was easy.
And let's reassure the critics who experienced Hillary's health care debacle first hand - she has grown since 1993:
Friends and advisers say Mrs. Clinton has been a diligent student of her own mistakes, and her style has evolved over the years from a tendency to micromanage to a greater willingness to delegate; from a bent toward perfectionism to one closer to pragmatism; from a go-for-broke mentality to one more willing to compromise.
Mrs. Clinton, for her part, draws a distinction between leadership and management, and her style and that of Mr. Clinton.
“My husband has extraordinary leadership ability,” Mrs. Clinton said in an interview. “But he was also not as interested in the day-to-day management. He was much more focused on our goals and objectives: how you do the politics, how you do the persuasion. I’m trying to meld leadership and management in a way that really suits me.”
It's all good in TimesWorld.