Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Will Bill Clinton Blow It For Hillary?

I had a dream last night that went something like this:
After a months-long slugfest, Hillary Rodham Clinton had the Democratic presidential nomination wrapped up. But Bill Clinton kept piddling on her Ferragamos with repeated red-faced, anger-drenched attacks on Barack Obama and her other opponents – real and perceived. The precious goodwill that the Missus had accrued was squandered by the Mister, and by the time the presumptive first woman president was crowned at the Denver convention she was saddled with extraordinary double negatives. In a stunning denouement of a race that was the Democrats' to lose, John McCain eked out a narrow win on Election Day not so much over Hillary Clinton as she and her destructive husband.
Then I woke up and realized that I hadn't necessarily been dreaming.

There is so much in play at this point in the relatively young election season that it's easy to feel like a whiplash victim. But the Bill Clinton as Bigfoot story line just won't go away. And shouldn't.

Note that I am not calling my dream a nightmare because while I have beaucoup problems with Hillary and will not be voting for her in my state's Super Tuesday primary, I might end up voting for her in the November election. Unless the Republican candidate is John McCain, with whom I also have problems, but at this juncture not enough to rule out voting for.

But I digress.

The mainstream media has taken up the issue with a vengeance.

Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post calls Bill Clinton a "political hit man," and writes that:

"[His] brilliance was in the way he surveyed the post-Reagan landscape and figured out how to redefine and reposition the Democratic Party so that it became viable again. All the Democratic candidates who are running this year, including [Barack] Obama, owe him their gratitude.

"But Obama has set his sights higher, and implicit in his campaign is a promise, or a threat, to eclipse Clinton's accomplishments. Obama doesn't just want to piece together a 50-plus-1 coalition; he wants to forge a new post-partisan consensus that includes 'Obama Republicans' -- the equivalent of the Gipper's 'Reagan Democrats.' You can call that overly ambitious or even naive, but you can't call it timid. Or deferential.

"Both Clintons have trouble hiding their annoyance at Obama's impertinence. Bill, especially, gives the impression that Obama has gotten under his skin. His frequent allegations of media bias in Obama's favor recall the everybody-against-us feeling of the impeachment drama, when the meaning of the word ‘is’ had to be carefully parsed and the Clinton White House was under siege."

Then there is Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, who in her latest bit of MoDo snark reprises a New York Post headline that calls the Clintons "The 2-Headed Monster," and writes that:

"Bill's transition from elder statesman, leader of his party and bipartisan ambassador to ward heeler and hatchet man has been seamless — and seamy.

"After Bill's success trolling the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, Hillary handed off South Carolina and flew to California and other Super Tuesday states. The Big Dog relished playing the candidate again, wearing a Technicolor orange tie and sweeping across the state with the mute Chelsea.

"He tried to convey the impression that they were running against The Man, and with classic Clintonian self-pity, grumbled that Barack Obama had all the advantages."

Now I understand that while Robinson and Dowd are media heavyweights, their clout does not extend that far from New York and Washington. But I also understand that there is something about Hillary Clinton’s smug self-assuredness that invites criticism; her husband only makes matters worse.

That so noted, at this point in the campaign, my not-a-nightmare dream doesn't seem all that farfetched because there is no way that the Missus is going to send the Mister home to Chappaqua to play with his HO trains.

And at this point in the campaign, even with a big Obama victory in South Carolina on Saturday, I believe that Mrs. Clinton is thisclose to running away from Obama if a few things break her way.

1 comment:

cognitorex said...

A husband retires and starts going grocery shopping with his wife, the long serving cook and Mother of the family. By trip two he not only catches on but envisions he can shop smarter and better.
Oochy Momma!
His out loud suggestions should engender a cartoon like humor response but they're actually grating to the ear.
Then, there's the case of two Presidents residing in the White House simultaneously. Oh yeah.
But. But. You know what. This Presidential "Double Occupancy" scenario could easily become an international comedic soap opera.
Poof! The raging hatred and loss of prestige for America that hallmark Bush's actions in office could evaporate into winks and smiles as Bill and Hill bring "He said - she said" domestic relations to international diplomacy.
Set aside those suicide bomb suits guys. This is going to be fun.
(I want the copyright on "Double Occupancy" as a White House based plot)