“Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it. The nature of the alleged scandal was not disclosed.”
Further: "“This word-of-mouth among Democrats makes Obama look vulnerable and Clinton look prudent. … Experienced Democratic political operatives believe Clinton wants to avoid a repetition of 2004, when attacks on each other by presidential candidates Howard Dean and Richard Gephardt were mutually destructive and facilitated John Kerry's nomination.”
Sure she does.
Later in the day, Obama called her bluff. He took the unusual step of issuing a direct, signed statement: “During our debate in Las Vegas on Thursday, we heard Sen. Clinton rail against the politics of ‘throwing mud.’ At the very same time, in Washington, Robert Novak was publishing a column in which he reported the following: ‘Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama...’ ”
He went on: “The item did not identify these ‘agents,’ nor did it reveal the nature of the charge. It was devoid of facts, but heavy on innuendo and insinuation of the sort to which we've become all too accustomed in our politics these past two decades. If the purpose of this shameless item was to daunt or discourage me or supporters of our campaign from challenging and changing the politics of Washington, it will fail. In fact, it will only serve to steel our resolve. But in the interest of our party, and her own reputation, Sen. Clinton should either make public any and all information referred to in the item, or concede the truth: that there is none.”
Howard Wolfson, Clinton's campaign communications director, said she has "no idea" what the item is about. (Of course not!) In a totally transparent example of pure projection, Wolfson added: "This is how Republicans work."
Actually, this is how the Clinton Ladies Intervention Team works. Just ask the Governor of New York.