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Dog Fight

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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PRETTY AS A PICTURE Clinton

How ugly was Hillary Clinton—and when did she know it? That's the question on the minds of literally dozens of people—mostly partisan hacks and journalists desperate to make "ugly campaign" references—since Clinton's Republican opponent John Spencer came out and said the former First Lady had plastic surgery to the tune of "millions of dollars." Many were shocked, mostly by the fact that Clinton wasn't running unopposed— John Spencer? The Blues Explosion dude?

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Spencer denied having made those comments, but the damage is already done. No lesser a plastic surgery expert than Beauty Junkies author Alex Kuczynski called Spencer an "intolerant asshole" in the New York Observer today and Clinton defended herself boasting of her own cuteness.

The discourse around the New York senate race has been lowered to such a degree that Rep. Charles Rangel shot back with some playground taunts aimed at Spencer: "He could take the plastic surgery." (Oooooh! And what about his mama?) Even serious magazines like New York are resorting to Hot or Not polls. (Whither the Purple Party, New York? Whither?)

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Now Spencer has to deal with another little explosion on his hands. The Daily News's Ben Smith (who broke the ugly story to begin with) quotes Bob Fois, a Spencer aide (and apparently his learned student in political charm school), saying, "I wouldn't use the word 'hate' to express my sentiments on Hillary Clinton, but I do personally find her 'ugly' as a human being." Ouch.

Even Dick Cheney is commenting on Hillary's looks. The vice president says that Senator Clinton is looking ... presidential: "I think Hillary Clinton is a formidable candidate... I think she could win. I hope she doesn't."

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