Too Late To Kill Bill?

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After the symbolic hand-job following the mid-February debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton immediately took off the Playtex gloves and unleashed a barrage of penis-shriveling criticism ahead of the Texas and Ohio March 4th primaries. First denouncing an anti-Clinton flier by Obama’s organization regarding the Nafta trade treaty, Hillary paused only long enough to hear the Ghost of Ross Perot’s Failed Campaign warning her, “That sucking sound you hear is the sound of your campaign losing any appeal to the Independent voter”. While some still dispute the wisdom of Nafta, it’s not that easy to unhitch your “experience wagon” from one of the more unpopular legacies of the Bill Clinton White House. Throwing caution to the wind, Senator Clinton raised her fist and brought it down soundly on what she considers Obama’s most vulnerable area: his lack of experience.

Comparing his lack of foreign policy experience to that of George W Bush, she deftly avoided sounding hypocritical by NOT bringing up her husband’s “vast experience” when compared to former CIA Director and two term vice-President George H.W. Bush in his re-election bid. One would think she’d have learned from people’s reaction to her “change you can Xerox” comment, but apparently she rides to these rallies in the little bus with all the other “special needs” candidates, like Nader, who really just don’t get it.

“We’ve seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech on foreign policy at George Washington University. Uh, yeah, we all watched you and all those other Democrats cower in the corner and give license to George Bush to have his way in Iraq. Just like a drunk throwing up on the sofa and trying to hide it under someone else’s hat, this ploy fools no one.

In an interview on Larry King Live in April of 2004, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she is not sorry she voted for a resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in Iraq. Hugely disappointing to antiwar liberals who were being bullied into silence by the increasingly vocal and overtly belligerent pro-war conservative base, Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the Iraq war resolution in October of 2002. In doing so, she followed a long Clinton tradition of courting then abandoning assorted supporters and their causes: gays, blacks, liberals and finally the antiwar movement.

“Obviously, I’ve thought about that a lot in the months since,” she said. “No, I don’t regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade.” And there’s that foreign policy experience we hear so much about.

The attack that’s gotten the most attention in recent days has been a photograph of Mr. Obama in a ceremonial African garb, reputed to have been provided by a Clinton staffer. The source has not been absolutely verified, but it’s doubtful that Senator McCain, himself smeared by rumors of fathering a black child back in 2000, is responsible for something as sophomoric as that. This has all the earmarks of the Clinton campaign, which frankly as been following misstep with misstep for months now. From allowing Bill to even speak, to personal attacks on Obama supporters as naive, this candidacy has managed to insult and alienate pretty much everyone who’s not branded on the ass with a scarlet “C”. Once arrogantly portrayed as “America’s first black president,” Bill came off as more of a snotty, ill-tempered redneck just before the South Carolina caucus. Meanwhile, Senator Clinton cannot decide whether to portray the Damsel in Distress or Harpy from Hell.

Throughout most of these attacks, Obama has wisely decided to defend the issue but not fight fire with fire…which makes this yet another Clinton backfire. The “personal” nature of these attacks on experience and pragmatism are designed to solicit a reply in kind from the Obama campaign, reducing his charismatic appeal once he starts slinging insults. It’s a desperation tactic. Once dragged down into the mud, no one will remember who threw the first punch come convention time as the two-headed monster of Hill and Bill smothers any spark of optimism from the Obama campaign. As long as Obama can maintain his Zen-like composure, Hillary Clinton’s nasty alley-fight will not prevail. And come March 4th, Zen-master Obama might finally be able to reveal to Hillary the sound of one-hand clapping….by slapping her soundly across the head and completely out of the race. Yesterday’s gone, baby! Why don’t you join it?

[[Op-Ed post by special MNP correspondent Jill the Shill]]

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