Although this weekend was largely about Barack Obama’s meta-blunder, it did remind us that the Clintons are no walk in the park either.
First, there was Bill. In the midst of perhaps the most important weekend of his wife’s campaign, when she has the chance to finally turn the tables on her opponent (and bury forever in the news archives his latest mind-blowing set of lies about his wife’s Bosnian escapade), what does Bill Clinton do? Of all the topics he could raise (e.g. cultural elitism, phony protectionism, gun rights, immigration) suggested by Barack Obama’s blunder he chooses to talk about, you know, Bill. A Sunday news report relates the former President’s remarks:
“There’s been a lot of hoopla about who said what and who shot John in the last couple of days. But one of the thing that I thought was kind of overlooked in all this is that one more time, the campaigns opposite Hillary said, ‘well there really wasn’t any difference in the Clinton years and the Bush years. Rural Pennsylvania really didn’t do very well. Do you agree with that?”
With a rich selection of targets that might benefit Hillary, Bill chooses none of the above. Instead he latches onto the slur-in-passing on his reputation. There is no message control with him; it is just all about Bill 24/7, no matter what the circumstances. It’s enough to make you sympathize with her and her hapless campaign. Almost.
Then there is Hillary’s response. On a purely political level her team seems to have finally executed something effectively, flooding the zone with quotes and keeping the issue in the news. But this, it is now obvious, is the only way she can grab the nomination. Her intrinsic appeal is limited, a diminishing resource which evaporated in the gunfire of Bosnia. She cannot win; she can only hope to make Obama lose.
So she is beaming for the first time in months. She can now search and destroy and belittle her rookie opponent. That is what she does best. It is unclear if that is enough.