Skip to comments.Say Goodnight, Bill
Posted on 11/11/2002 6:05:43 AM PST by jhouston
A lot has been made of George Bush's victory last week. But while controlling the White House and both houses of Congress is impressive, there was an additional triumph to savor: driving a stake through the Clinton era. Although he wasn't running, Bill Clinton was a major presence, raising funds, campaigning for candidates and generally trying to help his party regain its mojo. Tuesday's vote was a repudiation of his efforts. What's more, last week's rout may well quiet critics who continue to suggest that with help from his brother and the Supreme Court, Bush had stolen the 2000 election from Al Gore. This is Bush Country now.
Clinton compounded his problems at the infamous memorial service for Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone. There he was, his face blown up on the Jumbotron, cheering and swaying as if he were at Woodstock IV, showing no disapproval then or later over the booing of Republican Senator Trent Lott, who had come to pay his respects. If Jesse Ventura, the ex-wrestler, can credibly take offense and, with impunity, order flags flying at half-mast to be raised early, you know it was unsavory. Here's how Congressman Tom Davis, chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee, summed it up: "Nothing gets Republican voters more hyped up than seeing President Clinton on the tube ... it got our base ginned up."
Coattails? Not on Bill. During the primaries, association with Clinton proved toxic. Three of his former Cabinet members lost. His intervention to help shore up black support for his wife in the New York State primary by getting his former Cabinet Secretary, Andrew Cuomo, out of the race led to one of the most impressive losses of the election. Comptroller Carl McCall lost to Governor George Pataki by 16 percentage points. In North Carolina, former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles wouldn't even let the former Chief Executive visit. Where Clinton did go, candidates like Maryland's Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Massachusetts' Shannon O'Brien lost. In Florida, where Clinton went to help Bill McBride, who was still within striking distance of Governor Jeb Bush, the ex-President failed decisively to get out the vote. Turnout actually dropped 17% from 1994, the last Democratic gubernatorial win.
Clinton wasn't, of course, the primary reason the Democrats lost, but there's no reason to think he would accept responsibility if he were. At a postelection dinner in his Harlem office, Clinton, his voice hoarse after three red-eye flights, said only that you can't beat a party with a message with a party without one, ignoring the fact that he is the master of blurring the differences, of shaking down the same wealthy donors as the opposition in exchange for a similar nonthreatening agenda.
A parallel shift in the culture suggests that Clinton-era values are no longer America's. Though a baby boomer, Bush rejects the instant-gratification ethic embraced by Clinton, the nation's first baby boomer President. Bush went from party-hearty frat boy to hard liquordrinking Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (until he shaped up in his 40s) without stopping to dabble in the counterculture or go anywhere in a VW bus. He often laments not being one of the Greatest Generation he so admires (although he was no more up front about not going to Vietnam than was Clinton). Whereas Clinton liked going on MTV with 18-year-olds, Bush urges them and their parents to return to an "era of responsibility."
Clinton revered CEOs; they now appear regularly in televised perp walks. Clinton loved Hollywood; celebrities like Barbra Streisand had his ear and an invitation to the Lincoln Bedroom. Bush doesn't have movie stars over; he's in bed with Laura by 9:30. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the one politician to survive the association with Bill, although at a high personal price. If she decides to run for President, she may want to change her name yet again and become a Rodham once and for all.
The story is headlined with the infamous picture of Bill and Hillary yukking it up with Mondale.
The caption on the picture is;
"KEY MOMENT: Clinton yuks it up at the Wellstone memorial service"
J HOLT/MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE/ZUMA PRESS
Margaret Carlson thinks this is something new?
Didn't we see this Clinton laughing when Ron Brown died?
Oh, I forgot, the media didn't want us to see that so most people never did.
What comes around always goes around... and the Hitlery witch is sure looking danged evenfuglier nowadays...40 face lifts could not fix.
This is the leftist liberal way to cast aside and move on to trying to fake the world with a fresh slate of "centrist" YEAH RIGHT! demoncrats.
Bill Clinton has coatails made out of the same material that college football jerseys were made of years ago. They were designed to tear away if a tackler grabbed material instead of the runner.
It's just possible that he DID NOT WANT THE JOB.
But couldn't stand up to the party bigwigs.