The Corner

What’s Bill Clinton Doing?

Everyone seems to be talking about the new Obama campaign ad in which team Obama insinuates that Romney wouldn’t have killed Bin Laden. I think it’s pretty tacky and thin stuff on the merits for all the reasons others have mentioned. But my question is: What the Hell is Bill Clinton doing being the narrator of the ad? I could have sworn there was a general rule that former presidents don’t get too mired in partisan politics. Sure they can endorse someone and all that, and give a speech at the conventions, but they don’t become partisan hacks either.  That’s why there was so much controversy when Jimmy Carter became so anti-Bush in 2004. Or at least that’s my sense of it. Maybe I’m just imagining it?

Still, it strikes me as just plain tawdry for Bill Clinton to be sitting there with that coprophagic grin, saying the “one thing George Bush said that is right” was that the president is the decider. Most of what Clinton says in the add isn’t expressly partisan, but his words are used for an expressly partisan hack job, making the killing of Bin Laden a  partisan issue. Aren’t ex-presidents supposed to be the foremost champions of the (largely mythological) imperative to stop partisanship at the water’s edge?

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