Skip to comments.Analysis: Bill Clinton's Lost Legacy
Posted on 01/27/2008 6:30:59 AM PST by COUNTrecount
The man crowned as America's first black president for his unprecedented personal connection to the African-American community has abdicated the throne.
By injecting himself into the Democratic primary campaign with a series of inflammatory and negative statements, Bill Clinton may have helped his wife's presidential hopes in the long term but at the cost of his reputation with a group of voters that have long been one of his strongest bases of political support.
Illinois Senator Barack Obama won an overwhelming victory in South Carolina with the support of African American voters who made up 53 percent of the vote, according to CBS News exit polls. Eighty percent of those voters chose Obama.
The rout came after weeks of racial polarization, much of it involving the former president, who thrust himself into the fray in a manner more reminiscent of backwoods Arkansas politicking than conduct befitting a former commander in chief.
Bill Clinton was once seen as a big asset for his wife's campaign, especially among Democrats. After the thrashing Hillary Clinton took in South Carolina, the former president may find himself in the doghouse, if not the bullpen.
It was one phrase that began the racial ball rolling. When Bill Clinton referred to Obama's claims of consistent opposition to the war in Iraq as "the biggest fairy tale that I have ever seen," many blacks heard more than policy criticism. They heard a dismissive attack on the first black with a real chance of winning the White House. They heard echoes of racial battles of the past. And they heard it from someone who was supposed to be on their side.
Bill Clinton has not been the only campaign surrogate to stoke the racial fires. References by at least two Clinton supporters about Obama's past drug use, including a comment from one of the wealthiest African-American businessmen in the country.
E-mails have surfaced, some traced to Clinton campaign volunteers in Iowa, claiming that Obama is a Muslim. Former Senator Bob Kerrey, on the day he announced his support for Clinton, made sure to make a point about how wonderful he thought it was that Obama's middle name is Hussein. A radio ad in South Carolina sought to portray Obama as a fan of Republican policies in the 1990s.
The candidate herself contributed to the furor when she intimated that while Martin Luther King Jr. was a wonderful leader, it took President Johnson to make the Civil Rights Act a reality.
But it has been Bill Clinton who carried the campaign's attacks in the wake of his wife's Iowa loss. The "fairy tale" comment was followed by the claim that he had personally witnessed attempts at suppressing votes (a topic that touches blacks on a personal level) in Nevada by Obama supporters. It was Bill Clinton left to carry the ball in South Carolina for most of last week, while the candidate was in Super Tuesday battlegrounds like California.
When confronted with the rhetoric, Clinton lashed out at the media - and his wife's opponents. "I never heard a word of public complaint when Mr. Obama said Hillary is not truthful about character," he told reporters last week. "When he put out a hit job on me at the same time he called Hillary the senator from Punjab. I never said a word."
South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the highest ranking African American in Congress, publicly told Bill Clinton to "chill a little bit." Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, speaking with the former president just feet away, rebuked his language, insisting, "this is reality, not fantasy or fairy tales." The shots came from all corners. Writing on his own blog, Clinton's former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich accused Clinton of spearheading a "smear campaign against Obama."
South Carolina voters apparently agreed. The numbers are jarring: Fifty-eight percent said Bill Clinton's involvement was important to their decision and most of them voted for Obama. Seventy percent believed Hillary Clinton had unfairly attacked Obama. As a warning to Clinton, just 77 percent said they would be satisfied with her as the nominee.
"Not presidential" is how former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle described Bill Clinton's behavior on the campaign trail of late. All the same, it may be effective. Clinton's campaign is aimed at capturing voters who make up a huge part of the Democratic demographic: Middle class, white, female, older. Those are the voters who may shy away from backing a "black" candidate, as they have in earlier contests in this race. Despite his huge margin of victory, Obama captured just a quarter of white voters.
And the nasty tactics had another purpose - to knock the candidate of "hope" off the mountaintop and down into the gutters of hardball politics. Forcing the man who has sought to connect himself to the legacy of inspirational leaders of the nation's past (he announced his candidacy in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln) to trade blows and accusations with Bill Clinton on the divisive issue of race only serves to muddy both. And there's some evidence that it worked. Fifty-eight percent of South Carolina voters said they felt Obama unfairly attacked Clinton during the campaign.
Should Clinton win the nomination by marginalizing Obama as a black candidate, she may well end up in the White House. The sign outside should read: Still wanted, the first black president.
Clinton’s legacy as a lying, cheating, perjuring, subborning of perjury, rapist-in-chief is secure and everylasting!
He has had so many passes from Democrats (voters and Congress) and Republicans (Trent Lott; Orrin Hatch, Arlen Specter of Scottish law, et al) over the years that he must have thought, like I did, that he would forever be the popular icon of the American people. Then he came up against, of all groups, the socialists of South Carolina, the first state to secede in December 1860.
Still though one must admit that the “people’s Bill” still believes in HIMSELF even if some of the sheeple finally see there are no clothes there.
It’s not that HRC lost SC, but the margin of defeat. Like that of Reagan over Connally in the 1980 GOP primary in the Palmetto State. It finished off Connally.
And don’t forget giving all sorts of missile guidance technology to China, e.g. to attack satellites.
Having the Clinton house nigg**s jump on Obama hasn't worked so far.
Secret Service better be on their toes. Anyone who knows the Clintons knows what's next.
"Impeached, rapist, pot-smoking, coke-sniffing, treasonous, liar" - what else can be added?
The Red Chinese have their own name for him. They call him “Buddy.”
The third impeachment of bill clinton:
2. 2000 with the loss of phat-boy gore.
3. 2008 with the laming of the shrew. dems dont even want him.
Not is she doesn't get 80% of the black vote. The dislike for the Clintons has become personal with blacks. If she's the nominee, Dems will have a hard time getting 50% of the black vote.
LOL - I love it — and perfectly true....his legacy is completely safe, and I think at least some on the left are beginning to recognize what we have known all along.
Bill Clinton was once seen as a big asset for his wife’s campaign, especially among Democrats; now he’s seen as the south end of a north bound donkey. ;)
Of course, Soros could end up in line at a soup kitchen with what that would cost.
The fact this woman and man have even the slightest chance to be voted in as Potus and Copotus, shows the absolute degradation of this country's morale compass.
For the life of me I can't understand how he's helped her in the long run?
The sleaziness of the Clintons make my skin crawl.
Their ability to look us in the eye and lie to our faces time after time is astonishing. Yet the MSM marvel at it with glee and giddiness.
Where’s the barf bag?
Billys legacy ran down the front of Monicas dress.
After watching the MTP round table w/Russert, it looks like the Clinton loving sycofants are finally turning on them and running into Obamas arms.
As if the MSM had NO IDEA the Clintons operated this way all their political lives with anyone that stood in their way. Nothing has changed except now Bill seems to have thrown an entire voting block under the bus. They beat it out of SC last night faster than a pimp and his cheap whore after rolling some drunken John. The John (MSM/Dems) wake up today wondering what happened.
Dick Morris says the Clintons planned to lose, then use a whisper campaign to claim it was because of the huge black vote in SC. The problem is that they lost so big. Obama took 35% of Pickens County - which is 91% white. We’ll have to wait & see if the strategy works.
And the victims are willing participants this time.
I would venture to guess Obama wins this thing and goes on to win the Presidency. There's no way a rino is going to win. The conservatives, blue dog dems, independents, and fence sitters are not going to vote for another Bush moderate.
To me, I read the outlook for William Blythe Jefferson Clinton as well, violently criminal. What do sociopaths do when they no longer get their way?
If the Republicans offer more of the same, these voters could vote for Hillary anyway, out of habit. No, the Republican candidate would have to offer a reason for blacks to vote for him, not just not vote for Hillary.
“Clintons legacy as a lying, cheating, perjuring, subborning of perjury, rapist-in-chief is secure and everylasting!”
Well said! And nice to “see” you. :)
I’m almost believing Bill has deliberately sabotaged her campaign while appearing to help her as per their agreement. I don’t think he really wants to be First Lady. His personal life will be under too much scrutiny and he will be limited in his money making speech business. Their income would be under a microscope. She expected to lose SC but not so badly and her chances of regaining black votes seems slim. She could never win a national election without the black vote. So she is really in a pickle. Too bad.
They said the same thing after the obscene pardon scandal which barely gets a mention these days and really should disqualify any Clinton from running for anything except dog catcher. After Hillary gets the nomination and picks Obama as a running mate all will be forgiven.
Anyone but Hillary as far as i’m concerned. If it’s Obama, then so be it.
Those two have one of the sickest, most co-dependent, pathological relationships I’ve ever seen.
There is no doubt in my military mind that he is sabotaging her, all the while pretending to “help” her. No doubt whatsoever. And she continues to take it!
‘Smartest woman in the world,’ my Aunt Fanny!
What a foolish statement - there was no 'throne' to abdicate - rather, he has always been a con artist, and anybody who believed in the "first black president" nonsense was just another sucker taken in by just another Clinton con job.
It must be hard for all those 'journalist' suckers to admit that they've been had, or that the black celebrity who started the whole mess by defending Clinton's actions in Monicagate was either a dupe or a paid shill - probably because they are afraid to criticize (leftist) blacks for fear of being called 'racists'. So rather than pointing out that Toni Morrison was a fool to coin the phrase in the first place, they go along with it as if it were true, and then they lay the blame squarely on Clinton for abdicating the throne.
Whenever I see this particular pic of the Sinkmeister, I immediately think he’s in an orange prison jumpsuit, handcuffed, finally being hauled away to prison.
1) America's first black president
If I were black, that statement would piss me off
2) his unprecedented personal connection to the African-American community
If he was was SO WELL connected, why didn't he promote any blacks to high positions in his cabinet?
But, look at the brighter side, you’ve got your “open marriage” arrangement with her—so there’s nothing else to do but stay out there in the public eye. You need to be seen, to be engaged, to present yourself front and center. (Sorry about the military analogy, but this is WAR.) No one can tell an ex-president how to behave. Where’s your self-esteem, man? You owe it to Willard.
Remember one other piece of advice: If she doesn’t win, it is because you f*cked up, sat on your duff, didn’t do squat for her, said the wrong thing, put your foot in your mouth, came off as too aggressive or, alternatively, dumber than shinola, and you will hear about it for an eternity. (Hint: Read the note on the lamp as it sails by.) She won’t be busy at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or traveling around the world. She’ll have oodles of time to teach you a few lessons. So get out there and fight! Obama deserves to go down! And you’re just the guy to do it. We’re counting on you. Besides, your Willard wants company.
Back at you, Diana!
The History of Slick Willie from the coiner of the moniker
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The e-mails have been clogging the system, the phone calls have started, Fox News called . ... It’s just like the old days, aka the Clinton Years.
Yep, Slick Willie is back, not that he was ever completely gone. But this time he’s been resurrected by his alter ego, Bill Clinton. While pushing his memoir on “60 Minutes,” Arkansas’ prodigal son mentioned that, of all the nicknames he’s acquired, he likes Slick Willie the least.
I swelled with pride. And sighed at the prospect of having to write still another column on the history of Slick Willie, going into his life and times, his birth and ... apparent immortality.
Just when you think Slick Willie belongs to history, he pops up on “60 Minutes.” He’s like some Golem you’ve invoked for what seemed perfectly good reasons at the time, but who then refuses to go away when his time is over. Kind of like Bill Clinton himself.
This time Slick Willie has drawn fire from Bill Clinton himself, who says there’s “a very good reason” he dislikes the name: “No one could fairly look at my political life and say I didn’t believe in anything.”
Really? And just what political belief wouldn’t he modify if his popularity depended on it? He didn’t specify. He seldom does. It wouldn’t be Clintonesque (another term he inspired) to be specific. If there was a single constant to which he adhered throughout his political career, it was probably triangulation.
Bill Clinton may be confusing the term Slick Willie with Empty Suit. Both might apply in his case, but in addition to equivocation - at which he remains the master - the term Slick Willie implies duplicity. Which is why I used it to describe his political persona.
Back in 1996, a book publisher talked me into putting out a collection of my Clinton editorials and columns over the years. I went though roll after roll of microfilm at the Pine Bluff, Ark., public library to see when I’d first used the term Slick Willie. It turned out to be September 27, 1980. It was in an editorial for the Pine Bluff Commercial that had been inspired by the two-faced attack he made on his gubernatorial opponent that year, Frank White.
On the one hand, Bill Clinton was trying to place himself in the honored tradition of Arkansas’ post-Faubus reform governors when he spoke at his party’s state convention that year - even though he had embraced Orval Faubus himself, literally, at the outset of his first term.
He would also criticize Frank White, quite rightly, for demagoguing the issue of how to handle the Cuban refugees who’d arrived in Arkansas that summer. Then-Gov. Clinton welcomed the refugees at first, but by September of that year he was badmouthing Jimmy Carter for sending the Cubans to Fort Chaffee. In the dishonorable tradition of Orval Faubus, he threatened to defy the whole United States Army if Washington sent any more our way. It was all pretty slick. Hence the sobriquet Slick Willie.
It caught on. Because politicians aren’t just given nicknames. They earn them. At some point, a nickname engages the public imagination with an almost audible click - Old Hickory, The Rail Splitter, Tricky Dick, The Great Communicator ... and, of course, Slick Willie.
Slick Willie had a long incubation period. As early as 1979, I was still trying out nicknames for the state’s new governor. Most played on his youth - Kid Clinton, Boy Governor, Young Smoothie - for he was the youngest governor in the Union at the time. But nothing clicked till Slick Willie, and it would go national when Bill Clinton did in 1992.
By now I’ve seen myself credited with coining the nickname Slick Willie so often that I expect it will be noted on my tombstone. (I should have known that Devoted Husband and Father was too much to hope for.) Databases generations hence will doubtless contain the entry, “Slick Willie - Nickname given 42nd pres. of U.S. by obscure Ark. newspaper editor.”
But history is never simple, and neither is the history of Slick Willie. So I hasten to add that a letter writer to the old Arkansas Democrat -Mr. J.L. Crosser of Calico Rock, Ark. - used the phrase some time earlier in 1980. And wasn’t there also a bar-and-grill, maybe combined with a pool hall, named Slick Willy’s around at the same time?
All I know is that, almost a quarter of a century ago, deep in darkest Arkansas at Pine Bluff, I was blissfully oblivious to all these other Slick Willies. I was having too much fun dreaming up nicknames for our boy governor, scarcely suspecting that one day he would become our boy president.
So who really created Slick Willie? That’s easy: Bill Clinton.
Yes... there you go... you’ve captured the TRUE legacy of Bill Clinton — the very worst remnant of the Clinton years. Ah, the Bridge to the 21st Century... constructed with the cans kicked down the road by Slick Willie and the Hildabeast. Imagine the pardons the Slickster would have handed out had he been in office following 9-11...
Hmm, It was never lost, buried/ignored maybe...just take a look at all the comments (above and below)....hard facts/history. *grim sigh/snicker*
Designating Bill Clinton “The First Black President” was not only an insult to millions of people of African descent; it was also a sloppy idea that couldn’t be better designed to reflect the sloppy morality, sloppy judgment, and sloppy sense of logic of the Left. Toni Morrison should be ashamed of herself and should retract this sloppy—and insulting—designation forthwith.
If she’s the nominee, Dems will have a hard time getting 50% of the black vote? Wrong, TN2K. Hillary as Dem nominee might well reduce black turnout, but blacks just won’t vote for Republicans. Hillary’d still get four fifths of the black votes, but the total number of black votes would be greatly reduced. As so many octegenarians and their descendants still worship FDR for “saving the family farm”, blacks likewise still vote for LBJ and his Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, even though Democrat LBJ needed Republican votes in the Senate to get the acts past Democrat filibusters.
Historically blacks vote in low numbers compared to their potential voting population, but when they vote its overwhelmingly democrat (85-90%).
he man crowned as America’s first black president
I can’t stand that people call him that when his character, in no way, is reflective on how I see my community. Those Clintons are totally evil
There was Ron Brown, but he wound up with a .45 sized hole in his head and bill clinton was laughing when he left Ron’s funeral.
There was also Ms. Elders, of course, for the chirrun.
I wouldn’t consider Education Sec or Surgeon General exactly high positions.
Romney has recently been polling very good among 'moderates' and conservative blue-dog Democrats ... especially those who would not vote for Bomb-o Brack-a.
Any loss of votes due to hard-core GOP conservatives staying home will be made up by independents, moderates, and southern Democrats who cross over and vote Republican.
The general public is also warming up to Romney the more they see him excel in the debates.
They will continue to warm up to him thanks to positive comments from Limbaugh, Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Hannity, and other conservatives in the media world.