"You gotta do what you gotta do"--Bill Clinton
Democrats will not reject the politics of fraud when they think it is to their benefit. Never mind that Clinton wound up sending their congressional delegation into the wilderness for 12 years. They still thought it was wonderful that he could scam the public about Republicans. Don't expect them to reject the politics of fraud as long as they think it is working. In fact Slick Willy is so slick that he can make Obama look like a hero again if he is the VP nominee. Just watch him and be awed by the audacity of this hopeless cynic.
One of our favorite Bill Clinton anecdotes involves a confrontation he had with Bob Dole in the Oval Office after the 1996 election. Mr. Dole protested Mr. Clinton's attack ads claiming the Republican wanted to harm Medicare, but the President merely smiled that Bubba grin and said, "You gotta do what you gotta do."
We're reminded of that story listening to Barack Obama protest his treatment by the now ex-President Clinton on behalf of his wanna-be-President wife. "You know the former President, who I think all of us have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling," Mr. Obama told a TV interviewer. "He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts -- whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas."
Now he knows how the rest of us feel.
The Illinois Senator is still a young man, but not so young as to have missed the 1990s. He nonetheless seems to be awakening slowly to what everyone else already knows about the Clintons, which is that they will say and do whatever they "gotta" say or do to win. Listen closely to Mr. Obama, and you can almost hear the echoes of Bob Dole at the end of the 1996 campaign asking, "Where's the outrage?"
This has been the core of the conservative critique of the Clintons for years. So it is illuminating to hear the same critique coming from Mr. Obama and his supporters now that his candidacy poses a threat to the return of the Clinton dynasty. Even Democrats are now admitting the Clintons don't tell the truth -- at least until Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination.
Mr. Obama's two examples are instructive because they are so wonderfully Clintonian. On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Mr. Clinton attacked Mr. Obama's claims of having opposed the Iraq war all along as a "fairy tale." This is a tough charge coming from a two-term Democratic President in a Democratic primary, and it probably helped turn some voters against Mr. Obama.
But it was also a classic distortion intended to turn voter attention away from his wife's own Iraq fairy tale. She's the candidate who voted for the war and backed it for years before she decided she had to be sort of against it, only to later become really against it, and now to favor a withdrawal starting in 60 days. We think Mr. Obama is dangerously wrong about Iraq, but compared to Mrs. Clinton he's a model of consistency.
Then there's Mr. Clinton's moaning before Saturday's Nevada caucuses that his wife's supporters were being strong-armed by pro-Obama unions at casino voting sites. Clinton campaign allies sued and lost on the matter, and the former President sounded like a Chicago ward heeler as he told reporters about the Obama campaign's voter-intimidation tactics. Yet on the day of the vote Mrs. Clinton won at seven of the nine casino sites, and the Obama campaign was left asking if its vote had been suppressed. It wouldn't be the first time Mr. Clinton accused an opponent of doing something his own campaign was planning to do.Some in the press corps argue that Mr. Clinton's attacks are hurting his wife. But if they were, he'd stop....