Monday, September 19, 2005

Big Dog Barks

Just in case you missed it, Bill Clinton was on Meat the Press yesterday. The bloggers have been all abuzz about it, here, here, here, and here (to name a few). Clinton made some critical comments about Bush's handling of the war, Katrina, and poverty.

Some are proclaiming that it's about time that Clinton came out and criticized Bush, which he did. Other are somewhat more like this from Arianna Huffington:
The only thing Clinton said that differed from the White House’s current stay-the-course mantra [on Iraq] was his suggestion that “we may not have, in the short run, enough troops” to hold off the insurgents until Iraqi forces can take over for themselves. So that’s going to be the big difference between the administration and the loyal opposition in 2006 and 2008 -- how many more troops each party is willing to throw at the problem?
I've got to agree. In reading some of the transcripts, Clinton didn't exactly "lambaste" (as some are suggesting) Bush. More like a pillow puff. Don't get me wrong, I think Bill Clinton is probably the best politician since FDR, and maybe even better than him. But I understand Bill Clinton. He needs to be loved and is willing risk just about anything (including his Presidency) to generate adoration. Anyone who would go out of his way to try and be liked by the Bush family is a poster boy for needing to be loved, and he certainly isn't going to risk that for Tim "pumpkinhead" Russert ratings.

But I thought the best, most savvy, comment came from Susie Madrak at Suburban Guerrilla :
In case you had any doubt that Hillary Clinton’s running for president, I think this pretty much settles it.[links to story on Bill Clinton "lambasting" Bush on Meet the Press]
I agree with Susie. What we saw yesterday was the opening salvo in Bill Clinton's stump speech for his wife. It's customary for ex-Presidents to reserve criticism of current Presidents, but this situation is unprecedented with the ex-President's wife running for President. And Hillary hasn't exactly been a stellar leader in recognizing the Iraq mess as...well..a mess. Instead, she's calling for more troops to try and beef up her credentials as "tough". Everything Bill said was consistent with the positions of Hillary, and they probably don't even sleep together.

It's really no surprise. There's no one who should have a bigger claim on the loyalty of Bill Clinton than Hillary, and perhaps she's going to cash in some chips. I think yesterday was the beginning of payback.


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