By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in 2008 | Barack Obama | Batman! | Bill Clinton | Hillary Clinton | Holy Beatdowns — Comments (33) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
A big win for Barack Obama. And a huge loss for the Clintons--evidently, Bill Clinton has hit upon the bright idea of comparing Obama's win in South Carolina with that of Jesse Jackson when the latter ran for President. Obvious Subtext: White people should be afraid of Obama, just as they were afraid of Jackson. On CNN, they are calling this effort by Clinton a "Southern Strategy." For a Democratic former President, there could be no greater insult. Remember when columnist Joe Klein called Bill Clinton "The Natural"? Yeah, right.
Read on . . .
The Economist makes it clear that it is not all that fond of Bill Clinton anymore:
For most ex-presidents retirement is a golden time. They top up their personal fortunes, polish their reputations, perform good works and indulge in their hobbies (skydiving, in the case of George Bush senior). Richard Nixon turned himself into a foreign-policy sage. Jimmy Carter builds houses for the poor. Ronald Reagan wrote movingly about Alzheimer's before the disease silenced him.
For years Bill Clinton trod the same path. The Clinton Global Initiative is widely regarded as a model of its kind. Mr Clinton teamed up with Mr Bush senior to raise money for the victims of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. The mere mention of his name was enough to put the devotees of Davos and other such gatherings into a swoon.
But over the past few months Mr Clinton has downgraded himself from global statesman to political hatchet-man. No former president has inserted himself so wholeheartedly into a presidential race. (Mr Bush senior stayed in the background of his son's campaign, and declined to get stuck in even after John McCain won in New Hampshire.) Mr Clinton has not only dismissed Barack Obama as a roll of the dice and a purveyor of fairy tales. He has also ripped into awkward reporters and wandered into the Nevada caucuses to canvass for his wife. He is spending more time campaigning in South Carolina than the candidate herself. Mr Clinton seems intent on playing Spiro Agnew to his wife's Nixon, but with one important difference: Agnew went after the other side.
Mr Clinton's behaviour has caused consternation in the upper ranks of his party. Jonathan Alter reports in Newsweek that two leading party figures who are neutral in the race, Ted Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel, have told Mr Clinton to change his tone. Several black leaders have publicly upbraided him.
It's not just Democratic politicians who are upset with the Clintons. Democratic pundits are pretty upset as well. If a book could be written about the state of play for the Democratic Presidential nomination, perhaps it would be written "Maybe The VRWC Had A Point."