What Hillary Did for the Republicans

Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party have a great deal for which to thank Sen. Hillary Clinton as she departs her campaign for the presidency. Without her presence and willingness to do anything to win, the Republicans would be foreclosed by the mainstream media from defining the character, experience and other shortcomings of the presumptive Democrat nominee. In addition, her standard politics of destruction directed at Sen. Barak Obama, a favorite of the mainstream media, has incited them to finally acknowledge, detail and condemn the real character of an extremely dysfunctional former President Bill Clinton.

Hillary’s ads regarding who you would rather have answer the White House phone at 3:00 AM, reminds us that Obama has no practical experience in anything other than as a “community organizer” in the African-American community on Chicago’s Southside. It also reminds us that Obama won his United States Senate seat in a fluke election in which his odds-on-favorite Republican opponent, Jack Ryan, got caught in a sordid sex scandal including allegation that his actress wife, Jeri Ryan, refused to participate with him at sex clubs. Ryan was forced to withdraw leaving the Illinois GOP in shambles and Obama coasted to his only win on the national stage.

Sen. Clinton’s criticism of Obama’s statement regarding his willingness to meet with international rogue regimes such as Iran’s Ahmadenijad, Syria’s Assad and Venezuela’s Chavez, reminds of the incredible naiveté of a man who believes that “personal diplomacy” will deter ruthless despots. Obama was only eleven or twelve years old when Jimmy Carter, exercising the same naivete, caused the United States to suffer one of its most embarrassing international moments. Iran was in the hands of a radical Islamic theocracy — just as it remains today — when a group of terrorist (some suggest that Ahmadenijad was amongst them) stormed the United States Embassy and held sixty-six Americans for over a year — until the end of Carter’s term. Carter has been widely acclaimed as the worst president ever to hold office and much of the criticism surrounding his presidency is attributed to his shortcomings in international affairs.

And Hillary’s not-so-oblique criticism of Obama’s twenty-two year association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright reminds of us Obama’s poor judgment in choosing his friends and advisors. And it also reminds us of Obama’s lack of candor when addressing his knowledge of the very real and long standing race-baiting tactics of his pastor and advisor.

None of these issues could have been raised by Republicans without the mainstream media’s immediate condemnation and dismissal of them as racist. In the end, because the accusations were true and there was no credible response to them, the mainstream media even condemned the Clintons as racists — an accusation that rang hollow and fell on deaf ears in Middle America. As those issues will continue to be aired by Republicans, it is the words of Hillary Clinton, Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), Geraldine Ferraro, and the collective voices of the National Organization of Women (NOW) that will be used and the mainstream media’s branding of such statements as racist will continue to ring hollow.

On behalf of the GOP, we thank you Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But there are more reasons to thank Hillary. In my February 27, 2008, column I speculated that Bill Clinton was a major factor in the demise of Hillary’s campaign:

“Bill Clinton is probably the best politician that America has ever seen — not the best president, the best politician. Someone of that stature does not make mistakes like denigrating an African American’s ambitions as a “fairy tale” or comparing Obama to a race hustler like Jesse Jackson. He doesn’t spend his time on the campaign trail talking about himself rather than his wife, the candidate. He doesn’t act in a manner the reminds voters of the dysfunctionality of the Clintons during their previous eight-year term. Bill Clinton remains committed to the grooming of his own legacy. He recognizes that the mere fact that Hillary would become the first female president — regardless of her accomplishments — would eclipse his presidency. The defeat of Hillary protects his legacy.”

It appears that now I am not the only one. In a recent article by Alan Silverlieb for CNN published on American on Line and accompanied by an interactive poll, Silverlieb comes to the same conclusion, albeit not for the same reasons. And the results of the AOL poll concur. I recognize that these internet interactive polls are neither scientific nor precise but they do tend to validate “direction” or trends. In this instance, fifty-one percent of those polled believed that Bill Clinton played a major role in Hillary’s defeat. Less than twenty percent believe he did not. By an even greater margin, the poll suggests Obama should not have Bill Clinton campaign for him.

Silverlieb’s piece, while not critical of the former president, does, once again, detail the assorted verbal gaffes — the denigration of Obama’s ambitions as a “fairy tale”, the comparison of Obama to the race hustler, Jesse Jackson — and the display of his famous bad temper and penchant for crude “off microphone” comments. Silverlieb also cites the infamous Vanity Fair article about Clinton’s continued womanizing and his very personal attack on the husband of his former press secretary, DeeDee Myers, as “sleazy”, “scumbag” and “really dishonest.” (Note to Bill — be careful with your denials, DeeDee Myers was around for a long time and knows where the bodies are buried.) The reference to the Vanity Fair article was not so much to verify its truth but simply its reminder of the scandals of the Clinton years and the unpleasant thoughts of resurrecting those years by putting either Bill or Hillary anywhere near the White House.

In his final appearance in South Dakota on the day preceding the June 2, 2008, primary, Pres. Clinton noted that it “may be the last day I’m ever involved in a campaign of this kind.“ For that we should all be grateful.

With Hillary’s campaign at an end and never to be resurrected, and with Bill Clinton’s attempt to re-define his presidency in tatters, hopefully we have closed the book on the Clintons and their would-be-dynasty.