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Will Hillary Clinton Be the Agent of Her Campaign’s Undoing—Again?

She’ll have to avoid the infighting that plagued her mismanaged 2008 run for the presidency

The last time Hillary Clinton was riding high as a presidential candidate was March 5, 2008. She had just beaten Barack Obama in the Ohio and Texas primaries. Outwardly, Clinton finally seemed to have found her voice. She had momentum. But on the inside, her campaign was coming apart. Top lieutenants were bitterly divided into rival camps, pushing contrary strategies. One side wanted Clinton to attack her upstart opponent. The other urged her to display a softer, more feminine side to build support. Mostly, though, her advisers were consumed with destroying each other, as a flood of leaked e-mails later made clear.

The glow of her victories didn’t last. On the front page of the next day’s Washington Post, the feuding and back-stabbing spilled into public view: “Even in Victory, Clinton Team is Battling Itself.” This proved too much for Robert Barnett, the Washington super-lawyer and longtime adviser to the Clintons, who fired off an e-mail lighting into her senior staff: