December 22, 2007
As everybody knows, the years during which Bill Clinton served in the White House were marked by one of the biggest, most sustained economic expansions in our nation's history. No subprime mortgage crisis, no soaring gas prices, just peace and prosperity year in and year out. Now, whether that splendid situation had anything to do with his policies or not is another question, and it would take a college seminar to figure that one out. Who's got time for that?
In any case, retired First Lady (and front-running presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton has finally decided to pull out the stops and fight back against Barack Obama by playing up her husband's legacy, which is rather mixed. Ironically, Obama's youthful optimism echoes Bill's campaign theme of 1992, and Hillary's emphasis on experience echoes George Bush The Elder's ill-fated reelection campaign. Bill was a master at playing both sides of an issue (NAFTA, intervention in Bosnia, confronting Iraq, etc.), and I just don't think Hillary is a slick enough rhetorician to get away with what Bill did. Stressing "experience" is also rather dicey for Hillary, given the health care fiasco she engendered. Of course, that is what paved the way for the Republican Revolution in 1994.
Today's Washington Post also notes that Mrs. Clinton is getting campaign help from daughter Chelsea Clinton, trying to show Hillary's "human side." Well, I suppose her "demonic side" probably gets too much press coverage, so that's OK. But few things are sadder in life than seeing maternal loyalty being put to such nefarious ends, on behalf of a mother only a daughter could love.
As for the "two-for-the-price-of-one" argument, Argentina just underwent a husband-to-wife presidential transition (Nestor Kirchner to Cristina Kirchner), and the possibility of the "Billary" duo Clinton back in the Oval Office will raise the question of whether we need a constitutional amendment to prevent familial dynasties.
Just for fun, take a tour of the (unofficial) Clinton Presidential Library hosted by impersonator Frank Caliendo, courtesy of youtube.com. (Must be age 21 or older. ) Hat tip to Rich Raab.