Debra J. Saunders

Do Americans want another Clinton in the White House? As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flirts with running in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also a potential White House candidate, has put an interesting spin on Bill Clinton's White House years. Democrats shouldn't accuse the GOP of waging a "war on women," he recently told "Meet the Press," because President Clinton was a "sexual predator" with former intern Monica Lewinsky.

The next skirmish in the war on the war on women came from the Washington Free Beacon, which reported on papers archived at the University of Arkansas Libraries by Diane Blair, a deceased political science professor and close friend of Hillary's. According to Blair's notes, in 1998, the then first lady told her friend that her husband's relations with Lewinsky -- a "narcissistic loony toon" -- represented "gross inappropriate behavior," but it was "consensual," as in "not a power relationship."

One of the uglier archived documents is a 1992 campaign memo written by attorneys Nancy McFadden, now chief of staff to California Gov. Jerry Brown, and Loretta Lynch, president of the California Public Utilities Commission from 2000 to 2002. Under the heading "Defensive Research: Tying up ends and seeing ahead," the memo's first item no doubt referred to Gennifer Flowers, who said she had an affair with Bill Clinton: "Exposing GF: completely as a fraud, liar and possible criminal to stop this story and related stories, prevent future non-related stories and expose press inaction and manipulation."

Six years later, President Clinton admitted under oath to having had sex with Flowers, so it turns out Flowers wasn't the "liar" in this little tale. Didn't matter. With both Flowers and Lewinsky, Clinton operatives' first impulse was to smear the women as liars.

Longtime Clintonista Lanny Davis bashed Paul for "attacking Hillary Clinton for Bill Clinton's conduct."

So much for the 1992 campaign slogan of a Clinton candidacy's offering "two for the price of one." Ditto Hillary Clinton's role as Bill Clinton's chief enabler; remember how she dismissed the Lewinsky scandal as the product of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

It's "old news," Davis told me. Veteran GOP strategist Ken Khachigian, however, pointed out that accusations of "inappropriate behavior" in the 1990s torpedoed Herman Cain's presidential aspirations in 2012. There ought to be the "same standard" for both parties.

And don't get me started with Mitt Romney's famed 1983 ride with the family dog on the roof.

Paul's remarks may well backfire. If anything, the Lewinsky saga seemed to prop up President Clinton's favorable poll ratings.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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