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Mr. and Mrs. Clinton -- media critics

January 8, 2008 | 10:15 am

Manchester, N.H. -- As New Hampshirites trooped to the polls today, the morning news cycle was dominated by comments Hillary Clinton made in an interview broadcast on ABC's "Good Morning America": her assertion that her two main rivals in the Democratic presidential race, Barack Obama and John Edwards, have been "given pretty much a free ride."

You can read about it here.

Clinton's comments were of a piece with complaints her husband, Bill Clinton, aired Monday during a campaign appearance. The ex-president argued that Obama had been allowed to exaggerate differences between himself on Hillary Clinton, in terms of their opposition to the Iraq war.

"Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen," a clearly exasperated Bill Clinton exclaimed.

Somehow we doubt that "free ride" was the reaction Edwards ...

had months ago, when he was the butt of endless jokes over his $400 haircut -- as well as more serious criticism that his former work for a hedge fund firm undercut his populist campaign message.

And we imagine Obama didn't see it as fairy tale this summer when, after he said that as president he would be willing to meet without precondition with leaders of renegade nations, he was roundly castigated as "naive."

And just today, the Chicago Sun-Times has a piece that takes a tough look at Obama's fundraising practices. It reports that that while he is "making transparency a centerpiece of his White House bid," his campaign "continues to with-hold details of his higher-end fundraising operation."

Positive and negative press ebbs and flows, as the Clintons -- of all people -- know full well.

-- Don Frederick