Friday, February 22, 2008

That Would Explain A Lot

I had never thought about it this way but I guess that just shows way Thomas Edsall is actually paid and smart
from an article titled "Is Bill Deliberately Sabotaging Hillary's Campaign?"

No one better understands both the subtle politics of race and the acute sensitivities of Democratic primary voters than Bill Clinton.

Why, then, did the politically dexterous former president raise the issue of race during the South Carolina primary in a manner offensive to many blacks and whites, putting his wife's presidential bid into a potentially fatal downward spiral? And why did he incite the animus of countless voters by appearing to angrily and cavalierly dismiss Obama's anti-war credentials?

The question of motivation, always a minefield, will very likely go unanswered -- but consider this possibility:

Bill Clinton either does not want his wife to become president, or he is deeply ambivalent about the prospect of Hillary taking over the Oval Office where he once held court.

Posing the question of Bill Clinton's motivations to a number of Democratic and Republican political analysts produced a wide range of answers.

Some did not want to venture into the murky area of motivation. All three of the top partners at the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, for example, begged off:

Bill McInturff, "Above my pay grade as a pollster"; Glen Bolger, "I'm not the best person to speculate about Bill Clinton's state of mind on this, so I'll have to respectfully decline"; Neil Newhouse, "OMG - so her win diminishes him in some way. Interesting. But my BA in Psych doesn't qualify me to address this one."

Others, however, were not so shy.

Democratic media consultant James Duffy acknowledged that he is "not capable of making that type of psychological determination, but," he noted, "it seems like every step of the way, whether wittingly or unwittingly, he does things that are very destructive to her. Now she has a chance to get what she obviously wants more than anything else, the Presidency, and he steps forward and louses things up for her."

Republican media specialist Alex Castellanos, a man who takes pleasure in speculation, replied to a query with an intriguing email:

"What an interesting idea. 'Who's the fairest of them all?' Cain and Abel. Could be... I would have no way to know... but....I wonder if perhaps it is perhaps the opposite: in trying to prove he wants her to have it 'more than self,' he may be trying too hard... and that explains the loss of his golden touch, which he has certainly and for the first time in his charmed life, lost.

"This is why they don't allow doctors to operate on family members. Like most of us, perhaps he is torn and both impulses are true. Is he diminished if his unique accomplishment is duplicated by his wife, who was the wizard behind the curtain of his success? Yes. Would he do anything to see her elected? I would guess so.

All so human, isn't it?"

In a more down-to-earth commentary, Democratic campaign adviser Dan Gerstein said:

"Possible? Technically yes. But I don't like doing too much sideline psychology, especially when it comes to the Clintons, and trying to guess their motivations. That said, it does seem, at a minimum, that he has lost objectivity/perspective about the campaign, and that his emotions are guiding his behavior as much as if not more than the most gifted political mind of our generation is."

Colby political scientist L. Sandy Maisel said "that certainly is a question that has occurred to me, but I cannot really go there. It seems to be that he was so used to being able to slip out of any hole he dug for himself -- and he is so self-indulgent -- that he could not imagine not saying what he really felt and getting away with it."

Maisel added, however, that he agreed with the premise that Bill Clinton's comments during the South Carolina primary may have proved to be "the major cause" of Hillary Clinton's defeat:

"Up until then, she was holding her own with African-American voters and had alienated none of the African-American leadership. After that, she was on the defensive, losing votes and losing confidence. Add ten percent more of the African-American vote in a number of states and she turns losses into wins or lopsided losses into close ones. Given the tight ties she (and he) had with the African-American community before that time--deservedly so in my view--it is hard to place cause elsewhere."

The strongest disagreement with the notion that Bill Clinton might be torpedoing his wife's bid came from the American Enterprise Institute's Norman Ornstein:

"I honestly do not think so. I think he deeply wants her to win. It may be part atonement for what he put her through in the White House, partly to advance and cement his presidential legacy. And it is also, believe it or not, that he loves and truly respects her (of course, in his own inimitable way.)"

Asked to comment on the suggestion that Bill Clinton either does not want his wife to become president or is deeply ambivalent, Clinton's communications director Howard Wolfson replied succinctly, "Oh, please."

I don't think he intentionally tried to sabotage it, but like one of the respondents said I think he's just too close and too passionate and passion blinds you sometime to reason and obscures objectivity.
Or maybe, just maybe Bill is still smarter than us all and just wants to save Hillary the indignity of winning the Presidency only to have it taken away because, constitutionally "a woman can't be elected president"
Most people believe not only that the 19th Amendment permitted women the right to vote but that since women serve in Congress, the courts and other offices of government, the office of president of the United States has been de-genderized.

Not true. This important legal question exists now and has not been constitutionally addressed. The language and syntax of the 19th Amendment merely removed the barriers that prevented women from voting. It did not identify women to be qualified to become elected president.

The language is clear. The 19th Amendment says: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

We cannot read into the amendment something that is not there. Now, had the amendment said, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote or hold public office shall not be denied," it would have accomplished what the feminists think took place.

The Susan B. Anthony Amendment (as it was then known, because the words were actually drafted by the suffragist in 1875) passed in the House by a vote of 304 to 89. The Senate then passed it, 56 to 25. The text of both the House and Senate deliberately avoided any language that would allow or permit women the right to seek the highest office in the land! It was the considered opinion of senators on both sides of the aisle that if language de-genderized the presidency, the amendment's ratification by the necessary 36 states would be in great doubt.

Today's feminists believe the election process is an evolutionary process, legalized by common practice and that someday a woman will be president. They are convinced that since women have run for the office, the male-gendered presidential office has been neutered .

Not so. They will be challenged, and a Supreme Court ruling on the language will be necessary. At the very least a constitutional amendment to change the language will be required.

so yeah this whole "campaign" thing has just been a farce. At least that constituional scholar helped to explain why Hillary is losing...

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