SHE’S NASTY, SO SHE DESERVES NASTINESS
So, it looks like Hillary’s going to run for the Senate after all. While I hate being wrong in my predictions, no one who has to put pen to paper for a living (or in my case pixel to screen for subsistence) could be very upset that Hillary Clinton is getting in a steel cage with Rudy Giuliani, with the New York media providing the color commentary.
I think her campaign has huge disaster potential. Hillary Clinton is simply not a rough-and-tumble politician. She’s short-tempered and smug and New York already has those qualities in Senator Schumer. What better proof of Hillary’s smugness than the fact that she sees nothing wrong with parachuting into a state she never lived in just so she can grace America with her wisdom from the floor of the Senate? Still, it ain’t against the law and she’s got every right to do it.
But that doesn’t mean we have to buy into the spin from the outset. So here’s some pro-Hillary bunk and spin to watch out for as go-time approaches.
1. Rudy’s the Meanie. This is has already planted roots in most coverage. “It also promises to be a nasty campaign because her opponent could be New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who takes no prisoners in political contests,” observed Sam Donaldson on ABC’s This Week last Sunday. A New York Newsday columnist who says “I adore Hillary Clinton” doesn’t want her to run because it would be a “close, nasty contest.” USA Today says it would be “a nasty race against New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.” The implication, of course, is that it is only because Rudy won’t let Hillary get away with dodging tough questions that the race would be “mean.” Expect Hillary’s formal or informal campaign managers to grow increasingly “outraged” by Giuliani’s attempts to bring up “old stories” and “ancient allegations.” At the very least, when it comes to politics, Hillary Clinton is a mean lady in her own right. She blames her opponents for being corrupt and evil. She see conspiracies everywhere and encourages journalists to question the motives and backgrounds of her accusers rather address the factual substance of the charges against her.
2. This brings up the oldest and most weather-worn of Clinton spins: the “old news” defense. The age of an allegation does not confer legitimacy or veracity to the lie a politician offers in response to it. My beloved New York Post should not, and (unless they’ve taken up crack) will not, be cowed by such patent dodges. What happened to the billing records? How did you make all that schmundo on cattle futures from reading the Wall Street Journal (a newspaper which your husband’s spokesman called a disreputable rag when it reported that your husband raped a woman)? When you said on the Today show that if such “allegations” about a presidential affair with an intern could be proved, it would be extremely serious, did you mean it or do you think the allegations are unproven? When you fired the White House travel office for the benefit of your Arkansas cronies…? Etc. These are all valid questions.
3. Is this about Bill Clinton, or not? This is a better question for Al Gore. But is there any doubt that if Hillary wins her Senate race, Bill Clinton and his cronies will claim victory in the culture war? Clinton has already declared to aides that the Gore race is a referendum on his presidency. Surely, the election of the other half of “two for the price of one” would be a triumph for the Clintonistas. When Hillary is talking to house-plant liberals at the 92nd Street Y, she will surely talk about her aims as an extension of her husband’s legacy. Will she do that at the Greater Utica VFW?
IN RE: A FAT, SMELLY SLOB
Last night I was on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes to “debate” Michael Moore. It went pretty poorly, I think. I don’t want to give him any more of the publicity that he craves, but I’d like to address one thing.
Co-host Alan Colmes — who I think is a perfectly decent guy — came after me for taking “cheap shots” at Moore when I called him an “idiot” and “odiferous” in my column last week. A couple of readers also wrote me saying that I shouldn’t get personal considering that’s what I always accuse the Left of doing.
It’s a fair point, to an extent. As for the idiot remark, I retract nothing since I made the distinction of calling Moore a professional idiot. This is an important distinction. Just as Sideshow Bob is a brilliant fellow when he’s not on TV with Crusty the Clown, one can be a monstrous buffoon as a public figure and intelligent in private.
Now, as for the “odiferous” comment, and referring to the man’s considerable weight, I ask you to indulge me in my explanation. Moore’s trademark is to ambush people and film them from unflattering angles while asking them “When did you stop beating your wife?” questions. He ridicules people and smears them with false accusations and lies. Trust me, I’ve been reading up on the guy (see, for example, the Salon profile of him). By the very nature of putting a camera on my parents’ home, he has gotten personal. By encouraging people in their neighborhood to spy on them he’s gotten personal. Anyway that’s how I see it.
On a more general level, if one gets personal, one deserves to be gotten personal with. I suppose sometimes I have crossed the line into cheap-shotdom. I am open to invitations for retractions on my part. Alas, stinky Moore won’t be getting one.