Peggy Noonan Agrees with Tina Brown: Hillary's Being Sidelined

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
July 17 2009 5:30 PM

Peggy Noonan Agrees with Tina Brown: Hillary's Being Sidelined

Jessica Grose Jessica Grose

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

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Peggy Noonan, no stranger to needless provocation, has jumped on Tina Brown's bandwagon : She agrees that Hillary "got rolled" by agreeing to be secretary of state and thinks Brown telling Hillary to take off her burqa was "witty." But Peggy thinks it is all part of Hillary's wily plan to eventually become president:

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One thing Mrs. Clinton's learned is how to wait. Things turn on a dime, you wake up in the morning and there's a new headline that changes everything. Sooner or later Mr. Obama is going to get in trouble, sooner or later the trouble will take hold and settle in, and sooner or later she will be the unsullied one who quietly did her duty in spite of the slights to which she's been subjected. And when that happens, she will emerge-reluctantly, painfully-as the Democratic alternative. The one who almost won, who knew-who learned the hard way-that you can't do everything all at once, that it's the economy, stupid.

According to Peggy, Hillary is distancing herself from the drama, not because, as Sara argued this morning , she doesn't want it to seem like Tina Brown has inside information. Hillary is staying quiet only because she wants to be back in the Oval Office sooner rather than later.

I don't buy Noonan's claims. Not that I don't think Hillary is calculating, but I don't believe her current stance is exclusively selfish and manipulative. Clinton knows she took a job that requires her to be part of a team, and she is merely respecting the limits of her position.

Photograph of Hillary Clinton by Prakash Singh/AFP/ Getty Images.