“If you vote for my husband you get me. It’s a two-for-one blue-plate special.” So Hillary Clinton said to an American Bar Association audience when husband Bill was running for president in 1992. It’s similar but different now: Buy one Clinton and you get two: both Bill and Hillary — Billary.
Notes The Washington Post’s veteran David Broder: “She cannot function without him, and he would not have been president without her. If she becomes president, he will play as central a role in her presidency as she did in his. That is something the country will have to ponder.”
A poll-based, page-one October 4 Post story says the public has indeed pondered the prospect and found little wanting. “Bill Clinton has emerged as a clear asset in his wife’s campaign for the White House, with Americans offering high ratings to his eight years in office and a solid majority saying they would be comfortable with him as first spouse.”
And: “The former president is very much at the center of his wife’s campaign — helping to raise money, muscling endorsements, providing strategic and policy advice, and joining her on the trail.”
More and more, the situation report (sitrep) is this: A third Clinton term looks like a lock — with a growing sense of inevitability. Says Bill: “I would do anything I could to make her president.”
The other Democratic contenders, even Barack Obama, just can’t seem to get in the game. Bill Clinton, the most popular Democrat on the landscape, will appear with Hillary increasingly — the drab basking in his glamorous glow as John Warner did during his initial campaign for the Senate in 1978, attracting crowds with wife Elizabeth Taylor. Everywhere they go, Hillary and Bill receive soft-glove, fawning, royal treatment. Notes The New Republic’s Michelle Cottle: “(Hillary’s) a celebrity. She and Bill have passed some point where they’re no longer just politicians. They’re rock stars.”
Bill, who (1) degraded the presidential office with his sexual shenanigans; (2) non-responded to terror, in the years following 1993’s first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center; (3) benefited from a roaring economy with oil at $8 a barrel (as who could not?); (4) has made $40 million for speeches since leaving the White House; and (5) is violating the stricture against past presidents’ dabbling in foreign policy (e.g., Bush missile defense plans for Europe, he says, are a “colossal waste of money” and are “creating a crisis” —with Russia — “when none is necessary”).
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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