Bill Clinton wants people to know that Hillary doesn't do divisiveness -- it's thrust upon her. In a truly bizarre statement coming from the Clintons, they claim that the media forces Hillary to go negative against her opponents. She had to attack Barack Obama's kindergarten essays, the former president informs us, because the media wouldn't do it (via Memeorandum):
Bill Clinton voiced his abiding anger at the media's coverage of him and his wife in Durham, N.H., today, and suggested that media bias will force Clinton to go negative on Barack Obama.
He also expressed his frustration that his wife is perceived by voters as divisive through, he said, no fault of her own.
Clinton, like his wife, is traveling New Hampshire taking questions from voters, and he spoke at the University of New Hampshire in Durham in response to a plea from a woman who said she'd like it "if you and Clinton joined Barack Obama in putting the Republicans on notice" that it was time to "change the game" and end the "meanness" and "manipulation" in politics.
Oh, please. Let's quote the political consultant who helped put Bill in the White House, James Carville, on how they play the game. "It's hard for someone to hit you when you have your fist in their face," Carville told reporters during that 1992 campaign, and the Clintons have used that advice ever since. It's a little late to complain that people recognize that and react to the Clintons accordingly.
Putting aside the media bias claim -- which is patently ridiculous -- Hillary is responsible for Hillary's behavior. If she didn't want to go negative on Obama, she wouldn't have done it. Are we to understand that this presidential candidate has so little control over her own organization and her own impulses that a couple of bad reviews will make her take actions that otherwise violate her principles? Is that the message that Bill Clinton wants to send?
Besides, the problem wasn't that Hillary went negative, it was that she did it so badly. Stung by the accusation that the Clintons were motivated by overwhelming ambition, she decided to cull the record to look for overwhelming ambition in Obama's life. The Hillary team unearthed devastating evidence of presidential ambition in Barack Obama -- two essays, one written in the third grade and the other in kindergarten. Word has it that Obama's fingerpainting was due up for analysis as well, but the roars of laughter over her desperation nixed any further inquiry into Obama's days in the nursery.
This is just another replay of the endless "vast right-wing conspiracy", the-devil-made-us-do-it excuse-making of the Clintons. We had eight years of this baloney, with neither of them accepting responsibility for their own actions and blaming everyone around them for their failures. The mask is slipping a little earlier this time, and that's not the fault of the media, either.