Commentary Magazine


Bill’s Blowing Hillary’s Superdelegate Chances

A piece on sfgate offers a telling glimpse of Clinton rage. Last weekend, Bill Clinton flew in from Chicago to California and schmoozed with superdelegates at a state convention. Mingling with the party elite, he was all grins and eye-bags until someone mentioned Hillary defector Bill Richardson:

Rachel Binah, a former Richardson delegate who now supports Hillary Clinton, told Bill how “sorry” she was to have heard former Clinton campaign manager James Carville call Richardson a “Judas” for backing Obama.

It was as if someone pulled the pin from a grenade.

“Five times to my face (Richardson) said that he would never do that,” a red-faced, finger-pointing Clinton erupted.

The former president then went on a tirade that ran from the media’s unfair treatment of Hillary to questions about the fairness of the votes in state caucuses that voted for Obama. It ended with him asking delegates to imagine what the reaction would be if Obama was trailing by just 1 percent and people were telling him to drop out.

Let’s be honest: if Obama was conclusively behind delegate-wise and in the popular vote (as Hillary is) the only question the media would be asking him is, “to what do you attribute your loss?” Yes, Obama has received a big fat pass from the press and they softball him at every turn. But the ongoing assumption that Hillary has some legitimate claim to her continued fight is sustained by little more than the Clinton phenomenon itself. And Bill and Hillary are only called out when their antics go so far beyond the pale as to slip into tabloid-land. Speaking of, here’s more from Bill’s blow-up.

It was very, very intense,” said one attendee. “Not at all like the Bill of earlier campaigns.”

When he finally wound down, Bill was asked what message he wanted the delegates to take away from the meeting.

At that point, a much calmer Clinton outlined his message of party unity.

“It was kind of strange later when he took the stage and told everyone to ‘chill out,’ ” one delegate told us.

“We couldn’t help but think he was also talking to himself.”

Isn’t he always. It’s called solipsism. The Clintons function in a world of their own. It’s what enables Bill to explode and then urge people to “chill out.” It’s what allows Hillary to recall a routine helicopter landing as a scene from Rambo. It’s what drives them to treat the desperately-needed superdelegates with the same contempt to which they subjected the regular Democratic electorate. With trademark class, Bill had someone else call Ms. Binah later in the day and apologize for him.