One of the Man from Hope's consistently amazing lines is that the press doesn't offer the Clintons enough credit for all their good works. The latest example came on the trail in Keene, N.H., where the Associated Press found him whining about how the press hasn't underlined the vast chasm in experience between his wife and Barack Obama. "Bill Clinton said Tuesday that if reporters covered the candidates' public records better, his wife's presidential bid would be far ahead of her rivals," reported the AP.
Clinton obviously believes his presidency was a Golden Era, a time when peace and prosperity graced America. The Clintons want the press to replay a sort of glowing Harry and Linda Thomason propaganda movie about The Way They Were, with a soundtrack by Barbra Streisand.
Oh, baloney. The last thing Bill or his wife want is for the press to scrutinize their public records. The media have been absolutely AWOL on this front for 15 years. He knows it, just as he knows that his bellyaching about the press will also succeed in keeping them at bay.
How easy it would be to make a list of all the things the press could do to clear the cobwebs with thorough investigations (as opposed to the infrequent and incomplete spurt of a few negative stories). Reporters could draw up a quick list of "old news" about Hillary Clinton's record of public malfeasance that Bill knows full well have never been resolved:
1. Hillary ordering around the White House staff to fire seven workers in the White House Travel Office for financial mismanagement, with Billy Dale accused of embezzlement. Hillary then lied to a grand jury about how she was not really involved in the firing scheme, even though staffers were writing there would be "hell to pay" if they didn't do Hillary's bidding. Billy Dale's life was ruined. Two years later, it took a jury two hours to acquit him of all charges. Why did she do that? What would voters think, Mr. President?
2. Hillary making a mysterious $100,000 profit off a $1,000 investment in cattle futures with Tyson Foods lawyer Jim Blair making her trades. Was this a bribe for the governor's wife? It certainly didn't fit Hillary's first fairytale explanation: that she made the trades just reading the Wall Street Journal. Would more focus on this still-unresolved scandal help Hillary's campaign, Mr. President?
3. Hillary's staffers rifling through Vince Foster's office for documents in the hours after Foster's death in Fort Marcy Park. One man seen leaving the scene with documents was White House aide and Hillary protege Craig Livingstone. What was he taking away? Why won't anyone in your administration give an honest answer, Mr. President?
4. Hillary's Rose Law Firm records "disappeared," only to reappear in the White House residence after years of requests for documents from the independent counsel investigating her lawyering for her corrupt business partner Jim McDougal. What were they doing right outside Hillary's private office, Mr. President?
5. Hillary demanding the need for a White House database of friends and enemies. The Clinton White House was found to be in possession of over 1,000 FBI files of Republican White House employees. At the center of the controversy again: Craig Livingstone, who told friends he was Hillary's hire. Why were they there? How were they used?
In each of these cases -- and so many more! -- the Clinton-adoring media pulled a collective hamstring and retired before the scandal was ever resolved.
According to the AP, Clinton also said "his wife's bipartisan work in the Senate proves she can accomplish her campaign's message of change, and that records matter more than rhetoric." But Hillary couldn't even get her massive health-care plan through a Democratic House and Senate. In Carl Bernstein's biography, he reported Hillary made enemies among Senate Democrats like Daniel Patrick Moynihan by threatening to "demonize" them if they didn't swallow her health plan whole. Does that sound like a formula for bipartisan rule in 2009?
Looking at Hillary's public record would also mean taking a serious look at her very liberal Senate voting record. She has a perfect 100 pro-abortion score with NARAL Pro-Choice America. Except for "gay marriage," she's pretty much perfect with the gay Human Rights Campaign lobby. She gets an F from the National Rifle Association. On fiscal issues, she gets an F from the National Taxpayers Union, a 14-percent score from Citizens Against Government Waste, and only a 6.7 percent score from Americans for Tax Reform. Her lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 9 percent.
At every turn, whether it is scandalous behavior or a scandalously liberal voting record, Bill Clinton knows full well that if the press were really focusing "like a laser beam" on Hillary's past, her poll ratings would be dropping, not skyrocketing.