What is Bill Clinton thinking. Or rather, maybe Bill Clinton needs to stop thinking about himself as the candidate, and start thinking about the effects his attacks on Obama are having on his reputation (I would have said legacy but we don’t really know what that is going to be), and Hillary’s campaign. The calls have been coming on the average of three an hour and they range from “I gave Hillary money but now I feel like a hypocrite because I think Bill is behaving so badly I’m not sure I wouldn’t rather support Obama or Edwards.” To, “It’s not that I’m against Hillary, it’s just that I am for real change and I like what Obama has to say”. To, “What are the Clinton people trying to do? We need to appear united on important issues like eradicating poverty, and choice.”
Bill Clinton is the news. It is not because he, as a former President is supporting his wife in her effort to be he next Commander in Chief, it is because it appears he is running for a third term. There are people who think this is great. He was a wonderful President and he is the reason they are supporting her. But there are also those people who are supporting Hillary because they think she is capable of running the government without having to turn to Bill for advice or counsel or protection. There are those people who feel it diminishes his role as ex President to be name calling and messing with the facts.
Before the vote in New Hampshire, when most people thought she was going to lose (not this reporter), there was a sense that the ‘boys’ -- both media and opponents -- were piling on. Women hate that. We think it’s OK to lose a battle after a good fight, but we never think it’s OK to be dismissed or be denied an opportunity. It’s like when the "Washington Post" printed a story that the President Clinton’s international advisors considered Madeline Albright to be a second tier candidate for Secretary of State. It took about ten minutes and three phone calls to rally all the women’s organizations (conservative and progressive) to lobby the White House and insist they consider her in serious contention for that post. And voila, she was named Secretary of State. Women's groups did the same thing when Chris Matthews appeared to be unfair to Hillary during the New Hampshire Primary, and eventually, because of the women’s lobby, he apologized. Although, I think dismissing someone over their job qualifications and insisting someone not be allowed to say what they think, is really two different things. Chris is entitled to his opinion and didn’t need to do more than say, “I may have stepped over the line, but it’s what I think – and last time I read the Constitution there was still freedom to speak my own thoughts.” My point is, (and yes I have one), once women get organized over some kind of slight, they can become a powerful force. So what happens when the woman appears to send her husband out to do the dirty job of denigrating her opponent or opponents? I guess we’ll see what the results are in South Carolina. Hillary isn’t there until next Thursday, but Bill, (the first Black President) is out there working his constituency, with Chelsea – I guess the first Black child.
What do we think is going to happen in South Carolina and in Florida in both the Democratic and Republican races? Giuliani is betting everything that he will win in Florida, because, as I have often heard him say, there are a lot of New Yorkers in Florida. But from everything I have heard (and I am a part time New Yorker), no one in New York likes him. They hated him before 9-11. They liked him for 10 minutes after 9-11. They hate that he has used 9-11 as a personal agrandisment tool. They have learned a little too much about his business practices and his ‘old boy’ network to trust him, and even his children don’t like his wife. McCain won in South Carolina, Huckabee country, and Mitt went directly to Nevada—where he had a victory... no surprise - he looks like he belongs there. McCain might win in Florida, but Mitt has a much nicer tan. And speaking of tans, because that, along with Disney appeal, is no small issue in the sun state (or is that New Mexico). Giuliani looks like he’s been sitting under a sun lamp with bad sunglasses. He has big white circles under his eyes – not so chic. I don’t think McCain has ever been out in the sun and Huckabee really doesn’t matter because he has no money. So where are we? Oh yes, Obama might win in South Carolina but he probably doesn’t have as many friends in Florida because they are all from New York and Hillary is the Senator from that state. Edwards needs to mess up his hair or he won’t win anyplace where hair styling is not the priority. Isn’t this confusing? The good news is that no one knows who will win or where. The bad news is, that if Bill Clinton doesn’t stop this nonsense he will be responsible for Hillary’s defeat in many states as well as a continued unnecessary ugly Primary contest.