Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Billary: Mention Bubba's impeachment, and it's "Game on, b#tch!"

From the Washington comPost:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a new commandment for the 2008 presidential field: Thou shalt not mention anything related to the impeachment of her husband.

With a swift response to attacks from a former supporter last week, advisers to the New York Democrat offered a glimpse of their strategy for handling one of the most awkward chapters of her biography. They declared her husband's impeachment in 1998 -- or, more accurately, the embarrassing personal behavior that led to it -- taboo, putting her rivals on notice and all but daring other Democrats to mention the ordeal again.

"In the end, voters will decide what's off-limits, but I can't imagine that the public will reward the politics of personal destruction," senior Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said Friday, when asked whether the impeachment is fair game for Clinton's opponents. Earlier in the week, Wolfson dismissed references to President Bill Clinton's conduct as "under the belt."

But the reality, of course, is that the impeachment was conducted very much in public.

As Clinton aides spent several days batting down insults made by David Geffen, the Hollywood mogul who raised questions about the former president's personal behavior and praised Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in a provocative interview, the intra-party brawl suggested that the scandal remains something of a tripwire for Clinton.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Apparently not:
And as she has invoked the good Bill Clinton, she has risked invoking the bad, several Democratic strategists said.

"She's using him in this campaign, so why can't somebody else use him?" asked a veteran of Democratic presidential politics who is not currently aligned with a candidate but who, like numerous other Democrats, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of angering the Clintons. "She's just made him fair game. He's part of her strategy, so why can't he be part of one of her opponents'?"
And of course, Her Highness would never exploit a personal situation for political gain, right?
And Clinton advisers express confidence that any explicit attempt to revive the scandal would instantly backfire, particularly among Democratic primary voters who were outraged by the Republican investigation into her husband when it first occurred. (One Clinton official said donations to her campaign spiked when the Geffen interview was published.) The former first lady's popularity ratings have never been higher than when her husband's affair with a young intern burst into the open and cast her in the role of victim.
The "smartest woman in the world" didn't know what the rest of us knew in 1992, that her hubby was a philanderer? Right. And Mikie Moore is on Slim Fast.

Seriously, that whole "she's a victim" thing was phonier than a CBS memo. She knew damned well that Bubba couldn't keep Little Willie in his briefs (or was it boxers?), but once the public had irrefutable evidence (since Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, etc., were all obviously lying, right?), then she pretended like it was news to her. As they say in the Guiness commercials: "Brilliant!"

In his interview with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Geffen, a onetime Clinton fundraiser, gave voice to fears privately held by some Democrats that Republicans intend to revisit past Clinton issues and try to dig up new ones.

"I don't think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person," Geffen said. Speaking of Republicans' view of the former first lady, he said: "I think they believe she's the easiest to defeat."

Geffen also attacked Hillary Clinton on other fronts, including her vote to authorize the war in Iraq and subsequent refusal to apologize for it, and he described the Clintons as deceitful.
This is a party loyalist saying this, not some Bu$hitler McRummyburton Rovian hack. Yeah, but what does he know?

Finally, Her Highness responds:
The Clinton campaign's response was fast and unyielding: Advisers issued a statement demanding that Obama renounce his ties to Geffen, who had just thrown the Illinois senator a $1.3 million fundraiser. When Obama refused, and an Obama spokesman issued a statement pointing out that Geffen had once been the Clintons' guest in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House, Clinton officials pushed back once more. They accused Obama of failing to live by the principles of positive campaigning he proclaimed. Obama later said he had not authorized his campaign's statement.
Obama and Geffen should be thankful that they haven't wound up like Vince Foster for crossing Billary.

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