February 13, 2007

The Last Refuge Is The Scoundrel

Hillary Clinton apparently feels the heat from Barack Obama already. Campaigning in New Hampshire, where her husband won the nickname of Comeback Kid with his second-place finish in 1992 after the first of the bimbo eruptions, she hid behind Bill's, er, skirts to pump up her own candidacy:

As she made her first outing to New Hampshire as a presidential candidate last weekend, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton left her husband at home, yet she tried to tap his old political magic at nearly every turn.

Mrs. Clinton, Democrat of New York, mentioned Mr. Clinton at least eight times on Saturday — at one point talking about “Bill’s heart surgery” to illuminate her own travails with health care bureaucracy — and a few times on Sunday, most memorably when she said of Republicans, “Bill and I have beaten them before, and we will again.”

For the first time in her bid for the White House, Mrs. Clinton directly laid claim to the legacy and popularity of former President Bill Clinton — and did so in a crucial primary state where her husband showed his resiliency in 1992, when he finished second despite weeks of troubles. ...

This latest chapter in the Clinton political relationship is still a work in progress. Twice as a candidate for the Senate, and during her six-year term, Mrs. Clinton has kept a measure of professional distance from her husband, partly to keep the spotlight on “the politician in the family,” as he has called her. Where the two have appeared together — for example, at the funeral of Coretta Scott King last year — his skills as a speaker have overshadowed hers.

Now that Mrs. Clinton is a presidential candidate, however, her advisers say it would be folly to minimize Mr. Clinton’s role in her life: as a potential first gentleman, as her “full-time political counselor” (as she called him on Saturday) and as a source of emotional support.

That should work out very well indeed. After keeping Bill on a short leash and a high shelf ever since leaving the White House in 2001, now Hillary wants to push him out onto the stage -- to demonstrate his "emotional support". Would that have been the "emotional support" that he has shown her in the midst of the bimbo eruptions of his campaign and his Presidency?

Notice, too, that Bill didn't actually appear at this rally, nor does the campaign plan for any joint appearances in the near future. All Hillary wants to do is speak of Bill and not have him around to demonstrate her mediocrity as a campaigner. A senior campaign advisor would only tell the Times that Bill would eventually get around to joining her on stage, but had no timetable for the live demonstration of "emotional support".

Hillary can't have Bill on the stage with her because he overshadows her. She can't have him campaigning separately because it gives the impression that she is nothing but a straw man (or woman) for a third Bill Clinton term as President. They had hoped to keep him at home, apparently, but Barack Obama has created a charisma deficit for the front-runner -- and now she has to evoke Bill at her campaign events to make up the difference.

The Times report shows that it hasn't completely worked. Some found the casual references to her husband off-putting. Others, reminded of her victimization by her philandering husband, expressed frustration that she hadn't simply left him after Bill left office, and campaigned as her own woman. Even the praise she received for the reference seemed weird. After making a reference to Dunkin' Donuts, a state legislator noted that Hillary likes Bill "as much as we do" -- a strange statement about a wife's affection for her husband. Shouldn't she like him a little more?

As Obama gains strength, look for Hillary to run behind Bill's shadow more and more.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Last Refuge Is The Scoundrel:

» The Hill and Bill Show from And Rightly So!
Over the weekend NH saw Hillary visit using her charm and charisma to attract potential voters…and Obama came as well. It’s going to be interesting to watch these two Democrats outdo one another with their campaigns. While Hillary rides on ... [Read More]

» Web Reconnaissance for 02/13/2007 from The Thunder Run
A short recon of whats out there that might draw your attention. [Read More]

» The Continued Slander of 'the Democrat Party' from Doug Ross @ Journal
Democratic presidential candidate Barrack Hussein Obama apologized yesterday for describing the lives of 3,000 U.S. troops killed in Iraq as "wasted." He called the remark "a slip of the tongue..." [Read More]

» Web Reconnaissance for 02/15/2007 from The Thunder Run
A short recon of whats out there that might draw your attention. [Read More]