Remember the song"anything you can do, I can do better?" I recalled the song listening to Bill Clinton tell the country that Barack Obama was ready to be president. Does he believe it? Doubtful. In December 2007 he told Charlie Rose that electing Obama would be a"roll of the dice" for as he asked"When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?" It it possible, of course, that the discovery that"Obama"has the political instincts of a Chicago thug" has changed his mind.
So, why did he stand up at the Democratic convention and told the country not only that experience did not matter but that Obama was ready? For the same reason he stood up and told the country that he did not have sex with"that woman," because he could. Lying comes easy to Bill Clinton. This time he lied not to save his presidency but to demonstrate that he is a more loyal partisan than his wife.
You see, Hillary, could not get herself to go quite that far. She merely said that the democratic party is ready to lead and since he is the democratic candidate, he should be elected. Thus, she urged voters to put their trust in an experienced democratic leadership as a whole rather than in the novice Obama. This is as far as she went and in so doing she earned my respect as she has never done before. For when all said and done, she demonstrated she has some red lines, some honor.
Such scruples are beyond Bill and what is most disheartening is that he receives praise for demonstrating yet again how good a snake oil salesman he could have made. They also said that I lacked experience, he argued, and look how magnificently I did. Well, he had been governor for 12 years and was elected after Reagan won the Cold War when voters reasonably believed they could take a chance on a foreign policy novice and he did promise to take care of business at home.
He did give us a much needed roaring nineties. He did not take care of business at home. He promised to rebuild our infrastructure and solve the health care problem. He did neither. Nor did he use the surplus to develop green technologies. On the contrary, it was during his presidency that SUVs became the car of choice.
As to foreign policy, he did in Somalia what Obama wants to do in Iraq, leave prematurely. The result? A shot in the arm for Islamism. When the Islamists leb by Osama Bin Laden began to flex their muscles by bombing the World Trade Center and American embassies, he did nothing. When Iran bombed American soldiers in Saudi Arabia he did nothing. When Islamists armed by Iran undermined Yugoslavia, he bombed Belgrade. Russians were not amused. They still are not. As for Somalia itself? It has become a center of Islamist piracy.
The truth is that for the past seven years the Bush administration has been kept very busy cleaning up the mess created by the Clinton administration. It may have done so poorly but that only means that we must elect an experience person able to so better not a man who does not even realize what went wrong.
Hillary Clinton understands as much. I suspect her husband does too. It is just that when an impossible sales job beckons, he cannot help himself but respond especially as he can use it to divert attention from his own sorry record and do something better than Hillary.