Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is Bill Clinton Deliberately Helping or Hurting President Obama?

This past week former President Bill Clinton resurrected the now humorous image of a “vast, right-wing conspiracy.” According to Bill the “vast, right-wing conspiracy” was once out to get him and is now out to get President Obama.

Hilary Clinton coined the phrase over a decade ago with her misplaced anger over Bill’s Monica Lewinsky affair. The vast right-wing, which was hardly a “conspiracy,” smugly responded, “That blue dress wasn’t a right-wing affair!”

No one has been able to take that phrase seriously since then, and the term will forever be linked to Bill Clinton’s darker side.

Sweetness & Light describes how Bill fell into this latest replay of the VRWC while trying to drag President Obama into the mire:

The ex-president made the comment in a television interview when he was asked about one of the signature moments of the Monica Lewinsky affair over a decade ago. Back then, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton used the term "vast, right-wing conspiracy" to describe how her husband’s political enemies were out to destroy his presidency.

Bill Clinton was asked on NBC’s "Meet the Press" whether the conspiracy is still there. He replied: "You bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically. But it’s as virulent as it was."

Clinton said that this time around, the focus is on Obama and "their agenda seems to be wanting him to fail."

And once again, the darker side of Bill Clinton reemerges as Howard Kurtz reflects on the "split-screen presidency" of Bill Clinton.

Here’s a slice from a review of The Clinton Tapes by Taylor Branch:

In 'The Clinton Tapes,' Bill Clinton Disses Bush, Dowd, Gore and More by Melinda Henneberger

. . . Because having been assigned to write about such historical figures as Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp for The New York Times, my initial reaction to Clinton's gazillion hours of yakking to Branch was I've seen that movie, thanks -- and some of it was tedious the first time. (In the book, our 42nd president complains not a little – hard to believe, right? -- about being dragged through toxic sludge by the press. To which I say: Backatcha, Bubba.) . . .

Clinton dismissively said of Gore, "I thought he was living in Neverland.'' And he was furious that Gore still wanted some kind of an explanation -- and a personal apology -- for the Lewinsky matter. (Instead, Clinton accused him of phony and misplaced outrage; if Hillary could run for the Senate on their administration's record, why couldn't Gore have done the same?) . . .

At another point in the book, Branch writes that Hillary put the kibosh on the president's suggestion of extending an invitation to Sally Quinn, the Washington Post writer married to the paper's former editor, Ben Bradlee. Because according to Hillary, Quinn had been spreading untrue rumors that Hillary had been carrying on with a female veterinarian.

Which reminds me why I can't wait to get back to the Kennedy book. Side by side, the two tomes illustrate atonement versus self-justification and reconciliation versus retribution; 707 pages of the latter is an awful lot.

Poor Bill. He still doesn’t get it. Neither Gore nor Obama needs this kind of help!


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