Thursday, January 24, 2008

January 24, 2008

     The Democrats vote in South Carolina this Saturday and it's probably fair to say that if Barack Obama loses, his run for the presidency is done.  So the stakes are high and, not by coincidence, the campaign has gotten ugly.
     Bill Clinton, who had been campaigning the way a dignified, white-haired ex-president might be expected to campaign, has turned into his wife's attack dog, a role the vice presidential candidate usually plays in the general election.  Obama's consistent opposition to the war in Iraq is "a fairy tale."  Not true, but hey, it's a campaign.  Obama's doing a hit job on him, or was it his wife, and the press is out to get him too.  "Shame on you," he lectured one reporter.  Well, maybe, Mr. President, it ought to be shame on you.
     On the trail, Clinton (the ex-prez, not the candidate) talks a lot about his record, about what "I've" done or what "we've" accomplished.  If the quotes I see in the papers are accurate, he sounds a lot like a man running for a third term.  And maybe, of course, he is.
     No one really knows how anybody else's marriage works, or doesn't work, and certainly the Clintons have always operated as a team.   Mrs. Clinton talks a lot about her experience, though the one policy initiative she was most publicly involved in--health insurance, proposed  during her husband's first term--was, of course, a disaster.  Who would be calling the shots in a Hillary Clinton administration?  We don't know;  it's fair to guess it would be some kind of partnership, but who would be in charge?  Good question.
     One other thing rankles a bit--the impression the Clintons project that they're entitled to another lease on the White House.  The fact is, it's not a family franchise the way Buckingham Palace is for the Queen.  We've already had twenty years of Bushes and Clintons being in charge.  If we elect Hillary, will Jeb be waiting in the wings?  I don't know about you but I'd  like a new name--Smith or Jones, maybe.  Or Obama or McCain, come to that.

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