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Clinton on Fox: An alternate view
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yesterday I pointed to two articles by William Kristol and John Dickerson who were convinced that Bill Clinton's tirade on Fox News Sunday was done on purpose toward three particular goals. One of them, and perhaps the primary one, was to help Hillary Clinton's chances in '08. As a reminder, Kristol said:
Hillary Clinton has been having problems with the left wing of the Democratic party. With this interview, Bill Clinton has the entire left wing of the Democratic party rallying to him. Some of this solidarity can presumably be transferred to Hillary. And the dangerous move of the left-wing of the party toward Gore and Edwards, and their rise in national and Iowa polls respectively, can perhaps be stopped.
I also mentioned Bills recent outreach to a segment which has been very critical of the DLC and his wife ... the extreme left "netroots" portion of the blogosphere. All calculated, one would think, to help Hillary. And I can't help but to believe that's his true intention.

Then comes Michael Goodwin in today's NY Daily News with an alternate view. The salient point:
Lefty hearts are fluttering over Bill Clinton's finger-wagging, fist-face tantrum on Fox television. Party boss Howard Dean, a noted rage-aholic, sees Clinton's fury as a model for "what Democrats need to do in this election."

Dean's approval is one way to know you're in trouble with moderate voters. Another way is to calculate who wins and loses with Clinton's outburst. My scorecard says Fox wins with top ratings and Bubba wins 'cause he loves getting headlines.

Hillary loses. Big time. So big, in fact, that I think she ought to finally kick the bum out.

Out of her campaign, that is.

Thanks to her iconic status as the first First Lady ever to hold elective office, Clinton's career isn't just a personal issue. Along with having the best chance a woman has ever had to be elected President goes a set of obligations. One of them is to run as her own person and not as an appendage.

I don't know whether she has the right stuff to be President. I do know she doesn't have a chance unless she gets out from under The Big Creep's shadow.

Given his political gifts and baggage, his shadow makes her look tiny and weak - attributes that don't get you into the Oval Office during a war, except as a spouse.

To get there as President, she's got to move on her own steam, be the star of her own show. She never will be as long as he keeps stealing the show, for better and worse.
I'd say he has a point (and I loved his line which said, "Dean's approval is one way to know you're in trouble with moderate voters". Heh...).

In fact, the more Bill inserts himself into her run, the less of a chance she has to do what Goodwin believes she must do - look independent and strong. Secondly, it gives the opposition two people to run against. Reminders of Bill's, er, "problems", will be constant and the question of whether we again want to go through another "Clinton era" will be just as constant.

So Goodwin's advice is to tell Bill to shut up. And go away. His reasoning:
The Fox interview showed him at his worst. Asked a tough, fair question about his efforts as President to get Al Qaeda strongman Osama Bin Laden, Clinton erupted, accusing reporter Chris Wallace of having a "smirk" and doing a "conservative hit job" for Fox. The bizarre scene is the top political story of the week and clips of it light up the Internet.

It's a story with substantive legs, too, with the White House hitting back at Clinton's claim he did everything he could to get Bin Laden and that the Bushies ignored his warnings. In fact, neither team did its job, as 9/11 proved.

But the topic is worse for Democrats, who hope to win Congress by accusing Bush of mishandling the war on Islamic terror. The topic makes even less sense for Hillary's presidential ambitions. She has a growing closeness to Fox honcho Rupert Murdoch. And the cynical chatter that Bubba's outburst was planned reminds us that nothing with him is ever what it seems.
Given the level of comment, discourse and argument on this blog alone, it is hard to argue against his analysis. In fact Rupert Murdoch, who Bill Clinton went after in the interview (among others) is indeed a contributor to the Hillary Clinton campaign and has held a fund raiser for her as well. Clinton's gratuitous shot at Murdoch can't help but cool that relationship a bit one would think.

Goodwin notes that Hillary's defense wasn't the most forceful in the world and suggests a proper role for Bill Clinton in the future:
Her forced defense yesterday of his performance shows why she's usually better off when they're far apart. Let him throw red meat to Dem-only audiences, then go play golf with his rich groupies or make money on the speaking circuit. He can hang out in his library in Arkansas, where he has, of all things, a glass bedroom.
Her problem, however, is Bill likes the limelight. He's like a moth to the flame. And he seems convinced he can be an asset to her campaign and her presidential aspirations.
Apart from the portrait of the ex-President as a gabby global nomad, what emerges is a concern among Team Hillary about "the Bill factor." The fears cover everything from nasty surprises (read bimbo eruptions) to putting them on the same stage because he's a better speaker.

"It's very hard for her to establish herself in her own right," said former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley.
And with Bill around, it is very unlikely that will ever happen. So stay tuned to see how "Team Hillary", given the Fox News Sunday "event", chooses how best to deploy "the Bill factor" or if they choose to deploy it at all. With his love of attention and the limelight, I'd say they have their work cut out for them in attempting to guide his participation in ways where are actually useful to Hillary's campaign and not such that they overshadow her to the point of seeming irrelevance.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Bill has already f*cked this one up for Hillary...they’re being drawn into a front-page 9/11 argument w/ Condi. This is not one they have a chance at winning, no matter how many moonbats show up here to swoon over how much they wuv Clinton.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Yeah, why would the ultra lefties give a rat’s behind if Clinton is seen as being tough on terror? These are the same people who think Castro is noble and the US Marines deserve a special place in Hell, which of course doesn’t really exist, but you know, it’s the thought that counts.
Written By: Come on, Please
URL: http://
Hillary needs to be seen as the ascendant Democrat, the soul of the party. Trouble is, the only Democrat with enough star power to appoint and endorse her as such is her husband.

Bubba can maybe soothe the nutroots for her and he can probably push a lot of the party obstacles out of her way, but he can’t put her in the position she needs to be in to get elected, and no one else can do it either. Unless Hillary suddenly finds her inner Maggie Thatcher, which is unlikely.
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Goodness, can you imagine how this column would throw Hillary into an absolute rage? Weak? An appendage? Ouch! And she only makes those points more likely by defending Bubba. The only way it could be worse is if she sang "Stand by Your Man".

I’ve no doubt that Hillary desires very much to divest herself from Billy Boy, and is her own woman, but as long as her husband keeps hogging the spotlight she stands little chance of being viewed as but an appendage.

And I can answer Goodwin’s question: Hillary does NOT have the right stuff to be President. Then again, neither did her husband.
Written By: Joab
Only men would see Hillary Clinton as an appendage of her husband, or only women who would see themselves as appendages of their husbands. Most women that want to be informed of her position, would listen to Hillary Clinton regardless of what her husband is doing. I know this is a sexist statement, but I believe this to be true.
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
Hillary Clinton is a bad nominee.

Of course, if the Republican is worse, she could win anyway, but that’s my two brief cents.

Unlike Bill, she never comes off as heartfelt.
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
This Leno skit about Clinton is very, very funny:
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Unlike Bill, she never comes off as heartfelt.
That’s because Bill is a much better actor than is she.
Written By: McQ
the question of whether we again want to go through another "Clinton era" will be just as constant

I found this line interesting. Are you people serious? Questioning whether or not you want another Clinton era. The US economy was kicking serious ass under Clinton’s policies. Hate him all you like, you can’t argue with the facts of history, liberal policies make people money. Under Bush the US dollar is sagging, the economy is tanking. I would think it’s a no-brainer to go back to a Clinton-era. You people like money, right?
Written By: Crazy Canuck
URL: http://
The US economy was kicking serious ass under Clinton’s policies.

Which policies were those?
Written By: McQ
Under Bush the US dollar is sagging, the economy is tanking.
The economy is tanking? We’ve got full employment, the DJIA approaching it’s all time high, record home and small business ownership.

How is the economy tanking?
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
How is the economy tanking?
Because it’s a Bush economy. Therefore it MUST be tanking. Because Bush = Bad.
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
A surprise guest at the meeting was Bill Clinton, whose agenda seemed to be protecting his wife. But things didn’t work out quite as planned. When Guy Saperstein, a retired lawyer from Oakland, asked Clinton if Democrats who supported the war should apologize, the former President " went f.cking ballistic," according to Saperstein. Forget Hillary, Clinton said angrily during a ten-minute rant; if I was in Congress I would’ve voted for the war. "It was an extraordinary display of anger and imperiousness," Saperstein says.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://

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