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January 29, 2008

Bill Clinton a Drag

Roy Meachum

There are others out there: People who believed William Jefferson Clinton ranked some where close to Thomas Jefferson in ranking U.S. presidents by brain-power. I felt that way. Once again, the man is proving that intelligent does not equate to smart. His performance in his wife's campaign demonstrates how very dumb he can be.

Whatever propaganda persiflage Hillary Clinton's experts mount, her husband must share the burden of blame that all the Kennedys that really matter came out for her chief opponent. At 50, Caroline Kennedy scarcely fits in the ranks of youths that pundits say are the principal basis for the large turnouts Barack Obama attracts. Her New York Times' op-ed commentary directly compares her father and the junior senator from Illinois. She cites the bases on which she makes the claim Mr. Obama may very well be another John F. Kennedy. Her logic works. No Clinton is named.

When her uncle came out strongly for Sen. Barack Obama yesterday, the ex-president was thrust front and center. In announcing his endorsement of Mr. Obama, Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy made no secret that it was the Clintons' fault; he had earlier insisted that he would stick to his former policy of swearing allegiance to no candidate on the primary level.

Deliberate leaks revealed the swearing matches between Mr. Clinton and Mr. Kennedy; we were told the friction came from the Massachusetts' senator strong objection to the slurs and dirty tricks the ex-president pulled off, ostensibly to sport his wife. Certainly the most objectionable was bellowing the "race card," which the Kennedy clan believed they had eliminated, beginning with Jack Kennedy.

Among the lies Mr. Clinton spouted was the charge Mr. Obama vacillated on Iraq; in fact the senator from Illinois has been consistent in insisting the war has been a major mistake and U.S. forces should be brought home. Her senate record shows Mrs. Clinton was once a saber-rattling backer of the administration's war that has brought so much disaster to America and to the Middle East. The ex-president's "fairy tale" label belonged on his wife's invention of her positions in the war.

Since the details remain unknown, it is possible that Senator Kennedy raised objections to the Clintons' campaign claims that they had won Nevada. As Al Gore could have told them, gaining more votes does not "win." Mr. Obama came out of that primary one delegate ahead and rounding up delegates is what the primaries are all about. The only thing that matters. Thanks to shedding real tears, the only victory she racked up was in New Hampshire and not by much. Especially in comparison with the Illinois senator's two-to-one margin in South Carolina. By count, he won three states while she settled for only one. In political hacks' minds that may very well justify taking the contest into the gutter.

In fact we will never know how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will handle the nation's problems and they exist by battalions. Until the Democratic convention in August, we can speculate. But the presidency had never depended entirely on the person sitting at the Oval Office's desk. In this time of multiple woes, we need a leader capable of creating excitement for even the dirty jobs that must be done. I can see no royal road in the White House for anyone who gets the job, Republican or Democrat.

The verbal rockets and missiles of smear fired at the notion of change have convinced me even more that Washington must no longer stagger on in the same old rutted paths. I cheered Newt Gingrich's Contract with America because it held the promise of fresh air blowing through our national government; he failed because he came to believe his own propaganda. He was a traditional politician, after all.

Barack Obama is not and that could still cost him the Democratic nomination. Ted Kennedy's support and warm embrace might count for nothing. We live in a time when political organizations dominate much of the country. They dominate because much of the country displays apathy toward the political process.

Wie schade! Ya hossara! and Quelle domage! What a pity!

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