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ALBANY, N.Y. - Hillary Rodham Clinton has come out swinging.
Up until recently, the New York senator has been under fire from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party for refusing to join the call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and for her finely modulated criticism of President Bush. But there is a new tough-talking Clinton these days.
At a Harlem church on Martin Luther King Day, she said that Bush's presidency would "go down in history as one of the worst" and that the GOP-controlled House "has been run like a plantation."
In a post-New Year's Day thank-you note to donors, Clinton assured them she would fight for "an end to cronyism, incompetence and cover-ups."
And during a foreign policy address Wednesday at Princeton University, she accused the Bush administration of "downplaying" the threat posed by Iran and its nuclear program.
The Harlem speech drew a rebuke from the White House, where spokesman Scott McClellan declared her remarks "out of bounds." On her way home from Africa, first lady Laura Bush called her predecessor's plantation remark "ridiculous." Even former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers called Clinton's choice of words "unfortunate."