Mon. Jan 21, 2008
Imagine someone born in 1967. They are 40 years old today, in the middle of the demographic bell curve, about one half of the electorate younger than them, about one half older.
They have never, in their entire life, had the opportunity to vote in a Presidential election where one of the names on the ballot was not Bush or Clinton. Where the winner was not a Bush or a Clinton.
And in this election, we have the specter of a former President not just advocating on behalf of a candidate, but acting as the campaign’s primary attack dog. Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable and expected that Bill Clinton will campaign on behalf of his wife, but over the past month, he has often come across like the Little League dad with a bad temper. Can anyone imagine George Herbert Walker Bush playing the same hardball role for his son in 2000?
Word is that there are those within Hillary’s campaign who find his behavior over the top, and Democratic luminaries like Ted Kennedy and others have taken him to task, privately or publicly (Rep. James Clyburn is doing so on CNN right now). But Clinton has all but said he won’t be changing tactics.
The tone of anger and the tactics, to me, begin to reek of a sense of entitlement, most unbecoming under any circumstances, especially those of a country that has essentially experienced two decades of a dual-family monarchy.
And one has to wonder, if Bill is going to play this hardball role in the campaign, and ignore the heed of others who think he was stepped over the line into inappropriate behavior … what can we expect when/if he gets back in the White House?
And if the Clinton Machine is so darn smart, why haven’t they dialed this back already? Because they can’t? Because they don’t see how it is damaging to them? Or because they want to keep the pressure on another week in hopes of a win in South Carolina, the seeming birthplace of campaign “victories” that end up being divisive for the party?
People have long talked about how this election has shown the fractures in the Republican coalition, but at the rate we are going, the Clintons may crack the Democratic coalition right smartly in their efforts to retain control of it.