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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Clinton Dynasty: Victory By Any Means

The continued attempts by Bill and Hillary Clinton to manipulate the media and public opinion for personal gain hearken us back to the selfish nature of the Clinton presidency itself. While the comment of MSNBC's David Shuster (whom I consider to be among the finest political correspondents on TV) were misplaced the ensuing bitterness and attacks on MSNBC by the Clinton "spin" machine make me recall why Howard Kurtz's late 1990s book Spin Cycle, was so well received throughout the country.

Careful subterfuge has always been a Clintonian trait. Impeachment looming? Wag the Dog! Bomb a foreign embassy with huge diplomatic consequences? Blame old maps! Records sought by Congress firing travel office staff and a land scandal? Attack the messenger! Losing primaries in caucuses in areas Democrats need to win? change the subject! Losing a grip the nomination that your family feels is owed to them? Subvert Democracy by courting super delegates to correct the "mistake" the heathens (the Democratic Party's rank in file voters) are making!

Everything has worked out the way it was meant to for the Clintons. Mario Cuomo got gun shy and didn't run for the Presidency in 1992. the GOP despite being in an upswing due largely to the ineptitude of the first Clinton term (after winning both houses of Congress in 1994 running against Bill Clinton) nominated a weak candidate and in 2000 Al Gore's failure to secure the Presidency after winning the popular vote and essentially winning Florida as well served the machine well. With Gore out of the picture, the Clinton's could count on eight years of George W. Bush as an interlude in the dynasty. Senator Clinton's votes and "reconciliatory" behavior in the Senate was meant in many ways to enable a Bush re-election to serve her own political needs. The greater cause of liberal/progressive politics was rejected in favor personal political gain, much as it was throughout the 1990s when personal survival was the name of the game in the Clinton White House.

The Clinton's arrogance has never failed to amaze me. Now their desire to win at all costs and reclaim something they feel entitled to makes them willing to trump Democracy, and the will of the party they have allowed as an enabler to their selfish needs. It's about time Democrats got up and smelled the stench coming from Clinton HQ and finally reclaimed the party which has been hijacked for the better part of fifteen years for the Clinton Dynasty and the dis-enlightenment it provides.


eplnfl said...

Well Kartik, no one will mistake you for a Hillary supporter. What the Clinton's forgot is that the American public became quick to realize that the choice was between not the first Women or African American candidate but between the Clinton's and the first African American choice.

Much of Hilary's support went away when the public saw that we were voting for "The Clinton's" and not just Hilary. Maybe Hilary should of divorced Bill, she might have won a few more primaries!

mikeskapla said...

IMO Bill Clinton would be wildly more popular than Hillary if he were running.

The problem with Hillary is she doesn't have her husband's magnatism or appeal to key swing voter groups.

A point that I think Kartik misses is that yes the right wing Republicans hated Clinton like poision. And yes his missteps led to Republican majorities in 1994.

But, as a presidential candidate he was strong and appealing. Al Gore, John Kerry as candidates weren't. And that was a big part of their problems.

When you are president for the most part you aren't king legislator. But you are a leader and spokesperson in a way for the USA. So personality matters in a major way.

Frankly Hillary's problem is that she's no Bill Clinton she's more Al Gore -- at least the 2000 version of Al Gore.

Bill Clinton was far from being Mr. platitude. Kartik implied otherwise in one of his posts. Bill knew his stuff and most say (including Republicans) that he was an amazing policy wonk who loved to delve into details.

How many Presidents can "wing" a substantive 45 minute health care speech -- when his telepromter went down.

His failings are well documented and they center on presonal trangressions for the most part.

As a communicator and policy guy, Clinton has had few peers this century. For the most part the rest of the world liked Bill Clinton and he represented us well in that regard.

When it came to issues like race relations, Bill Clinton was a stud and well regarded by minorities. I can see the argument that for all his talents, Bill was dissapointing. But IMO, his talents did shine at times and was far from a disaster.

You can argue in a way that Obama is more of an extension of Bill than Hillary is. His campaign feels very similar to Bill's race in 1992.

You have an articulate dynmaic candidate with strong appeal to independents, young voters and minorities. Sounds like 1992 to me.

Bill's campaign talked about "change", new way and new approaches. Like in 1992, voters were fed up with politics as usual and we were mired in a recession under a Bush presidency.

The opponents accused Bill of not having the requisite expereince and living off of his charm and oratory skills.

Sound familar?

Granted, Bill Clinton's presidency was tarnished by his scandals, nonethless he remained for the most part popular in the polls.

Now, ironically his numbers are shrinking during Hillary's campaign. I agree that he hasn't looked good in his effort to help his wife.

But its a tough situation, in my opinion the problem is bringing him into the mix, hurts on 2 levels.

It reminds voters that Hillary isn't Bill Clinton and

They look desparate when they have to bring out the big guns so to speak to bail her out, makes her look weak, and strength is supposed to be her key attribute

Hillary reminds me very much of Al Gore in 2000. Like Al she's associated with the bad things about Bill and can't override the bad with the good associations to Bill -- becuase really the most appealing part of Bill is his charm and communication skills.

And Hillary simply doesn't have it. Bill Clinton without the charm would be a dud, just as Ronald Reagan would be for example without his communication skills.

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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.