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Barry Crimmins

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political satirist Barry Crimmins

Scorched Earth Day Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Scorched Earth Day
No matter what happens during the remainder of the primary season, Americans will have an historic choice to make in this fall's general election. Either we'll elect the first woman president or the first biracial president or the first former North Vietnamese radio personality president.
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We could have a better idea concerning who takes on Hanoi John when Hillary Clinton's moment of truth (even a broken clock is truthful two moments a day) comes tonight in Pennsylvania. Yesterday Clinton spoke at a rally where she seemed almost lifelike bandying about dog whistle hip-hop terms like "you've got my back." Last night she spent the evening  doing TV interviews and seeing to duties including overseeing robo calls to gun nuts and approving a last minute ad that featured everything but Slim Pickens bronco-busting a nuke.
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The spot quotes Harry Truman's bromide "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen." Barack Obama has thus far not retaliated by saying, "If you can't win the delegates, get out of the race." Anyone who can do simple math knows Clinton is in a hopeless situation. Several weeks back it was clear that she had to win a lot of primaries by very large margins for any chance to make up the delegate deficit. She has lost ground during this period and she knows it, which is why she has run more of an "Impeach Obama" campaign than a "Vote for Clinton" effort. Al Giordano has laid his estimable name on the line predicting a Keystone State Clinton victory but by a margin that only results in a net gain of four delegates for her. Even if she did phenomenally well, she would only come out ten or so delegates ahead, a gain likely to be eliminated May 6 when North Carolina Democrats vote. Like I said, it's over.

It's even more over when you look at her campaign finances. The Clinton ledger is somewhere from ten to twenty million in arrears (baby got waaay back!) depending on who's doing the ciphering. The New York Senator and her surrogates tell us that Obama has outspent her 3 to 1 in Pennsylvania (others say it's actually 2 to 1) but fail to mention that her campaign has out-deficit-spent the Illinois senator tens of millions to none. Such humility! Would Barack Obama have the courage to continue to throw good money after bad in a futile cause? Probably not even at 3 a.m..

If you listen to longtime Clinton apologist Leon Panetta, there are some books the Clintons do keep current -- books of tabs -- tabs they keep on former employees that track whether or not former staffers have maintained loyalty to Clinton Inc. The New York Times' Mark Leibovich reports:

By the same token, "There is clearly a high frustration level among campaign types and from the Clintons themselves," said Leon Panetta, a White House chief of staff under Mr. Clinton, who is backing Mrs. Clinton's campaign.

It is partly reserved for former Clinton administration aides who are now with Mr. Obama: Greg Craig, who served as special counsel to Mr. Clinton during his impeachment saga; Anthony Lake, a former national security adviser; and Mr. Reich, who even before his formal endorsement Friday had spoken approvingly of Mr. Obama and critically of Mrs. Clinton's campaign.

"These are people that the Clintons gave an opportunity to serve," said Mr. Panetta, speaking generally. "They helped give them the titles they now have, and made them a lot of money. I think the Clintons probably feel they are owed something."


In this week's new low department, Bill and Hill have resorted to questioning the morality of people who get rich as a result having been public servants?  Well first, THEY chose these future influence peddlers. Second, they seem to think this trading on titles is fine so long as you show up and hold a Hillary sign. If the  in-office Clintons hire you, rather than sign on to work for your country for a period of time, you are stop-lossed into permanent duty.

They are incapable of imagining that just maybe a few former Clinton staffers and Cabinet officials got loyalty fatigue during the Nineties when the nation was paralyzed by a stiffness between the Commander-in-Chief's legs. And perhaps some Democrats remember that Bill Clinton had reverse coattails, resulting in the Contract on America, a pogrom that many people and social programs did not survive. Obama  speaks of the audacity of hope. The Clintons live by the audacity of audacity. Leon Panetta tells us people got titles as if they were bestowed by monarchs. Dame Monica Lewinsky sure got one but I haven't heard much about her stock portfolio lately.

This little quote from Panetta summarizes why I have no use for the Clintons. They think that because they ran the country back in the Nineties they should be given a free pass to run roughshod over the Democratic Party, and the nation, in perpetuity. Had they done a better job back then, we'd have never ended up with George W. Bush, worst president ever. But we got him alright, right between, and up to, the eyeballs. Ever since,  all we've heard is how much we're supposed to miss the Clintons. The corporate ass-kissing, couldn't-keep-his-pants-on presidency of Bill Clinton led us off the cliff that was the 2000 election. I'll be damned if anyone is going to convince me that this somehow places us in his family's perpetual debt.
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BC

updated: 14 years ago