Monday, June 30, 2008

The Tarnish On The Clinton Brand

There is an interesting piece in the July Vanity Fair about Bill Clinton. It's called, "Has Bill Clinton Lost His Mojo or His Mind?" I think losing his mojo would cause him to lose his mind. Charming Bill seems not so charming any more (according to friends and aides tasked with "handling" him). His behavior during the primary created such problems for his wife, that he might have cost her the nomination. It was especially his behavior in South Carolina that alienated black voters, who then moved in droves toward Obama, giving him a huge victory. This baffled Bill, and made him testy with reporters which caused further problems for Hillary. Apparently Bill's people and Hillary's people weren't playing well with one another, giving her campaign the appearance of a chaotic and disorganized mess.

All the while, Obama was dancing the light fantastic. His grassroots organization was moving forward into states Hillary wasn't even planning on having to campaign in, since her nomination was assumed to be inevitable. (Beware of believing your own mythology). She had planned for it all to be over by February 5th. From then on the Clinton organization began to make rookie mistakes, looking clumsy, graceless, and strident. Yes, I know--that word "strident," when used about a female candidate, might sound sexist, but in this case it was more a description of Bill's voice than Hillary's. Bill was the one stepping on his wife's toes, shaking his finger at reporters faces and urging his wife to go old school, get down and dirty--act tough, make herself look "strong." That's when they put out the "three A.M. phone call ad." Which, in the end, was another foolish mistake. First thing that came to my mind when I saw that ad was an image of Hillary desperately making calls at three A.M. trying to track down her errant husband. It was pretty much all down hill from there.

For women, who so desperately wanted to have a female President, this loss of inevitability was heartbreaking. And though it hardened their resolve, it seemed to make them get desperate, and desperation isn't particularly attractive in either sex. It was after South Carolina that Hillary stopped being gracious, and started looking rude and thuggish herself. She stopped congratulating Senator Obama on his victories. She stopped thanking her supporters and volunteers. She just moved on to the next state's stump speech, looking ham fisted and flat footed. She started campaigning like a boorish man, dismissing the brilliance of her opponent, and placing herself and John McCain together as the two adults running for President, and calling into question Barack Obama's "experience and maturity." I remember the interview where Hillary was asked if Senator Obama was Muslim. Her answer was one of her worst moments for me. She said, "No, not as far as I know," leaving the possibility open that he might be, as far as she knew.

Loosing power must be terribly painful. Never having had power, I have no experience of the pain of loosing it. But this loss of power might have happened to Bill Clinton in a much more personal way with the problems created by his heart surgery. The bypass operation seemed to be a success, until it was discovered that there was scar tissue causing other problems, necessitating another and more complicated surgery to go back in and remove that hardened, rubbery scar tissue. He had a long, painful recovery, and according to friends and colleagues, has never been quite the same--short tempered, easily tired, diminished--not the man he was. Oh yeah, he's still a wonder, still smart and able to turn on the charm, but now he sees his mortality looming, and the side effects of his medical complications and medications might be increased irritability, and irrectile disfunction. And he is hanging with a fast, rich, risky bunch of guys who travel to parties in exotic places aboard the 747's these guys own, with Billy boy on board, along with a coterie of lovelies. Barely legal lovelies. Young, smart, pretty women, happy to flatter and please these powerful men. And what aging guy, once powerful or not, who is on the brink of losing his famous stamina, would pass up the opportunity to partake of the charming generosity of young lovelies? I've never known one.

There are many insiders, former aides to Bill, who have expressed concern about the company Bill keeps, the ethically iffy donors to his library and charities. These are the records the Clintons did not release during the primary. The concern of these aides is that release of these records would have been damaging to Hillary during a general election.

So maybe the Democratic Party did dodge a bullet by nominating Obama. His moves, post primary, have been flawless. Today he gave a gorgeous speech about patriotism in America, (a lightening quick response to Wesley Clark's comments about McCain's "heroism and status as a great American patriot," when General Clark appeared on Meet the Press Sunday). I missed the Meet the Press interview with Wes Clark. But I listened to Obama carefully today, and though I am pretty cynical when it comes to political candidates, Barack Obama can bring a tough old cynic to sentimental tears with the beauty of his words, the grace of his delivery, the power of his thought.

And this makes me hopeful again. If Hillary wants to negotiate her place in the Party by holding Obama responsible for her debt, and her desperation to stay in the race (which caused her debt to mount when nothing was coming in) then I say it's time for Bill to pay the piper for his roll in turning off donors to her campaign, and encouraging her to stay too long at the ball. Pony up, Bill. Pick up the tab for your past sins, and then party-on big guy.


Scarlet W. Blue said...

Dahling, I have surfaced temporarily to hand out awards. Will you be picking yours up or shall I have it shipped?

Utah Savage said...

I don't know how to pick up awards, so please, if you'd be so kind, would you ship it? Honestly I'd rather deliver it in person, but we all know, you don't always get what you want. Sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I've been thinking about The Clintons since the media won't let me NOT think about them. Count me in the group who would love to see a female president. I'm most definitely there.


Back when the primary was just being speculated on (let's say a year or more ago), I was not happy about Hillary's run for two reasons.

(1) I don't like the dynasty thing. I'm fed up with the concentration of power in the Bush family. I didn't want to have another family passing the power back and forth.

(2) I wasn't crazy about the first female president coming with the baggage of a former president as her husband. It would have seemed to me like only half a "win." I wondered if the media theme would become "Bill's really in charge..." and that seemed to diminish the idea that a woman would be president. It would have been like saying she couldn't do it all on her own.

Oh my, I have rambled. Sorry about that.

I want very much for the Dems to win. Not that I'm thrilled with them, but because I don't think we can take much more of the neo-con and weirdo-conservative policies.

Done now. Thank you for letting me write that here.

Utah Savage said...

Rant on, Dcup. I'm right there with you. I completely agreed with your reasons for not wanting Hillary to be our first female President. But had she been the nominee, I'd have voted for her. But I do think Bill would have turned into a liability for her. Her albatross, if you will. I wonder if this Vanity Fair article is available online?

BBC said...

I don't get this post, but it is my birthday and I'm half shit faced and I really don't give a fuck.


But I'm okay with Bill Clinton, anytime we can catch a couple of monkeys fucking on a White House couch or giving blow jobs it at least gives us some entertainment value to our tax dollars.

I'm okay with a female pesznut. How about you? Do you think you can fix this country? If so, I will vote for you.

If you let me kiss your tits I will vote for you twice. LOL

Hey, give me a break, it's my birthday and I'm amusing myself.

Utah Savage said...

BBC, Happy Birthday!

BBC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BBC said...

Hey, how did my comment get posted two times?

And knock it off with the BBC shit, just call me Billy. Or asshole, or whatever the fuck.

FranIAm said...

Dcup said what I would have wanted to say, but so much more eloquently!

This is a great post and so on the money for right now.

Randal Graves said...

Fuck the Clintons, I want to know who's going to pay my debts.

Unconventional Conventionist said...

One has to draw a distinct line here. By Law the Obama campaign CANNOT pick up her tab or anyone else's.

All that he can do is urge donors to help reitire someone else's debt. Which he did, and that'll be about it.

What will happen is the donors all want to go with a winner, so he'll actually probably get MORE money by acting all magnanimous, and Clinton will still have the debt to deal with.

Just one more of those wierd dances they do in DC.

Angry Ballerina said...

I'm such a pessimist its not even funny...I've never wanted anymore more in my life then to have BO for prez. But I'm worried it's all just gonna go to hell again somehow.

Vigilante said...

I for one, always believed women were fully entitled to have one of their gender as president. I was for Hillary (in spite of Bill) until the day Barack Obama announced. His announcement speech settled it.

DivaJood said...

I have awarded you with the Arte y Pico trophy. Details at my place.

Utah Savage said...

It's award day and I have nothing to wear to the ceremonies. What shall I do? I know, I'll make an outfit from my curtains. Right after I summon my charming administrator to help me carry my awards home. You are too kind. I love you all. Yada yada yada.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

jood sent me this way folk
and im glad
nice spot jones

Stella said...

There are many insiders, former aides to Bill, who have expressed concern about the company Bill keeps..

Well, yes. Like hanging with Bush Sr., Jr., and joining together on US|AID Indonesia.

Granted, the Thailand project is laudable, or did they need a tax break?

Utah Savage said...

I'm thinking they needed a tax break, but I am a cynical old broad.

Utah Savage said...

Charming Billy, I'll bet you're just the type to kiss the girls and make them cry.

sitenoise said...

From Aging Barbie takes a dump:
"Despite the fact that we had been given enormous power because we were perceived as beautiful, we didn't really believe we were."

"Loosing power must be terribly painful. Never having had power, I have no experience of the pain of loosing it."

Enormous power isn't real power, I guess.