Painful: Clinton Flack Struggles to Explain How 2016 Campaign Strategy Differs From Failed 2007 One

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Hillary Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri gave a painfully convoluted response Friday to a question about repeating the campaign approach of reintroducing Clinton again Saturday with a speech focusing on her roots.

Reporter Annie Karni pointed out this seemed very familiar from 2007 during a question-and-answer session sponsored by Politico in New York, asking that if the approach of Clinton "reintroducing herself to the country" didn't work last time, why would it work this time.

"I can't talk — I wasn't part of — '08 was a very different race in terms of, uh — there was like extraordinary interest on the Democratic side and I think it's hard just to compare the two situations," Palmieri said. "But she's talked about this at times. Obviously, she's written about it in her books. But it's true that a lot of people just don't know it about — and I talked to reporters yesterday about this. And they said she does — you think people don't know it? No, we don't. We don't think people know it. And we do think that, uh, she — she'll talk about it tomorrow. We'll do more of that. She has been doing it too. And it is, I think it illuminates, if you think that you need this kind of fighter in the White House, it illuminates why. And it's true that it hasn't taken, and I think that this is a different campaign in terms of, you know, what the press might focus on with her, and we'll stay at it."

Indeed Clinton flacks have been hard to work to make it seem like a woman who's been in the public eye for nearly four decades is still a mysterious entity to the public. Spokeswoman Karen Finney told CNN Friday that Clinton was one of the most unknown well-known people in the country.

Full exchange:

ANNIE KARNI: There's this article from 2007 that was kind of circulated today. Let me just read you one line from it. It said, ‘Introducing biographical information about Clinton's childhood and early childhood, advisers hope, will flesh out the familiar character of Clinton as an overly ambitious careerist who leaves scandal in her wake.' And then there's a quote from the campaign manager who says, ‘There are people who say they know everything about Hillary Clinton and then you ask where she was born and they have no idea.' And the article talks about how she's going to talk about her mother and her midwestern roots in kind of reintroducing herself to the country. And this story read a lot like the stories we all wrote last night after you guys previewed some of your speech, and so I'm wondering, if you guys feel like you have to do it again, did it not stick last time? And if it didn't stick, why's it going to work this time?

JENNIFER PALMIERI: I can't talk — I wasn't part of — '08 was a very different race in terms of, uh — there was like extraordinary interest on the Democratic side and I think it's hard just to compare the two situations. But she's talked about this at times. Obviously, she's written about it in her books. But it's true that a lot of people just don't know it about — and I talked to reporters yesterday about this. And they said she does — you think people don't know it? No, we don't. We don't think people know it. And we do think that, uh, she — she'll talk about it tomorrow. We'll do more of that. She has been doing it too. And it is, I think it illuminates, if you think that you need this kind of fighter in the White House, it illuminates why. And it's true that it hasn't taken, and I think that this is a different campaign in terms of, you know, what the press might focus on with her, and we'll stay at it.

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