President Bush's former chief political strategist writes that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton can be defeated next year, but he argues it won't be easy.
In his debut column for the liberal Newsweek magazine, Karl Rove describes Hillary as "hard" and "brittle."
Recalling two encounters with the former first lady who seemed agitated by his mentioning of a vanity mirror in her old West Wing office, Rove says Hillary is "tough, persistent and forgets nothing."
He also implied that a controversial question asked to Sen. John McCain by a woman in South Carolina ["How do we beat the bitch?"] was not without justification.
Despite having personal weaknesses, Rove argues that the Republican starts out with a disadvantage. Hillary is just simply better known.
Still, the GOP standard-bearer needs to contrast his personality with hers.
"Be authentic," Rove advises to be a foil "against a Democrat who calculates almost everything, including her accent and laugh . . ."
Rove says the Republican candidate should also tackle social issues like health care, aggressively court minorities and show strong support for the war in Iraq.
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