Well, at least she didn’t offer McCain the Veep slot. Yet. Though she did tease her Illinois Senatorial colleague with the tantalizing possibility that she’ll take him under her wing this fall and give him the experience he needs to become Chief Executive in 2016. An extraordinarily magnanimous gesture for a candidate losing in states won, delegates pledged, and popular vote. I’m sure the Obama campaign is taking her generous offer under advisement right now.
The kitchen sink is apparently empty, so Hillary’s gone to the tool chest to see what else she can throw at Barack Obama. In a Thursday campaign appearance, in touting her own fitness to be Commander-in-Chief, she found the claw hammer and let that fly: “I have a lifetime of experience that I bring to this campaign. Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he brings to this campaign–and Senator Obama will bring a speech that he made in 2002.” Lest anyone be ready to forgive her for a momentary slip of the tongue in the heat of battle, she repeated it again this weekend.
So much for party unity. It would appear that if Hillary can’t lead the ticket this fall, she’s certainly not going to let Barack go into the battle without knowing who wears the pantsuit in the family. It’s great fun tuning in everyday to see how Hillary is going to slip in another shot to Obama’s groin. Or at least it would be great fun if she wasn’t in the process of turning the Democratic Party into the Bikini Atoll.
I can respect an all-or-nothing strategy to a degree, but at a certain point it’s only prudent to think about the ramifications of “nothing”. We’re at a tipping point right now that if Hillary drags this race any further into the mud, she’s either going to be President or pariah. Like children, voters will forget certain things fairly quickly. As a politician you can make your point for the moment and no matter how you do it, most voters aren’t going to remember. Unless you take out the belt. They’ll remember that, they’ll hate you for it, and when they’re bigger or you’re vulnerable, or both, they will turn on you and stab you at the dinner table with a serving fork. Hillary may think her tough love is just what the record number of Democratic voters need right now as she takes the strap to the naive, audacious hope of Barack and his supporters, but if she succeeds in stealing the nomination from him in their “best interests”, and if the broad ripples of disgust she sets off hand the election to McCain, she dies an inglorious death at the polls in 2012 and Bill Clinton loses his status as America’s second-hippest swinging senior (ain’t no codger who swings the artifically-enhanced wood better than Hugh Hefner).
It’s one thing to toss these kinds of brickbats at McCain in the fall. It’s no more palatable, as anyone who sat through Willie Horton and Swift Boat Veterans For Truth can attest, but the family isn’t going to hate you for it. It’s another matter entirely to kneecap your team by giving the opposing party’s standard bearer ammunition against your primary opponent in the event that you don’t win the nomination. Not even Tonya Harding played this dirty.
Even worse, they’re on the verge of affording legitimacy to the army of Clinton Haters who made a cottage industry of despising the First Couple in the 1990s. God help us all if there ever comes a day where we have to concede that Rush Limbaugh may have oozed out a credible point somewhere within all that bacon- and Oxycontin-laced flopsweat.
Her team is tossing out one disingenuous argument after another, day after day. Whether it’s Ed Rendell on Meet The Press calling caucuses “undemocratic” or the Florida-Michigan nonsense, or the Ken Starr pettifoggery, she and Bill are trying to trump the Bushes in the right to be called America’s Royal Family, and in doing so, they’re putting an extra dose of “nasty” in “dynasty”.
And if we’re going to carp about relative experience, I’m not entirely sure what singular expertise that retired Hippie Bill Clinton brought to the White House in 1992 after a handful of terms running the country’s 33rd most populous state where people spend their autumn Saturdays donning porcine noses and squealing en masse. If our wealth and power and perceived arrogance are why the terrorists hate us, places like Fayetteville, Arkansas during football season are why they don’t understand us.
It’s too damned bad it’s come to this. Like many Americans, I enjoyed my highest standard of living during the Clinton Years. I was the strongest proponent of John Kerry sticking it in the GOP’s eye in 2004 and choosing Bill Clinton as his running mate–which he would have been perfectly legal and within the rules in doing. But the ugly is coming out in volumes right now. They’re playing for all the marbles, and they’re going to destroy the Democratic Party in the process if this keeps up, and, at this point, I’ll have lost all my marbles if I support them.