Tony Blankley

I hate to admit it, but I miss Bill Clinton. At least that lecherous old charmer was more amusing than his successor as a Democratic president, our new mortician in chief, Barack "End of the World" Obama.

Although, our new president's spokesman did deliver the funniest line of this so-far-not-too-funny millennium. Last week, Robert Gibbs called the president -- who, in the previous couple of weeks, had talked about our economy being a catastrophe from which we might never recover -- "an eternal optimist."

I appreciate that presidential spokesmen are not always known for their candor. And putting a positive gloss on his boss's image is barely an infraction, given the howlers that often have come from that podium. But really, one prefers one's perfidy to be at least plausible. If our economy in a death spiral is Obama's upbeat version of events, one can only tremble at what he would sound like if he turned a little glum.

Perhaps it was with those comments in mind that our former president took the opportunity -- while purportedly complimenting his successor -- to advise President Obama that he ought to try to be a little more upbeat about the economy.

(One of the more enjoyable entertainments we can look forward to during the next four years will be watching Bill Clinton sneak in little disparaging statements about his successor every time he pretends to compliment him. Bill obviously is being driven nuts by Obama. After all, as I recall, Clinton once complained that he could have been a great president if only he had had a depression or major war to preside over. How envious he must be of Obama, who may be in the process of turning an economic downturn into a depression and a small war in Afghanistan into a major war in Pakistan. Well, Bill, great men make their own opportunities.)

Nonetheless, things do seem a mite nasty at the moment. And Bill Clinton's advice to be more cheerful reminded me of the closing song in Monty Python's "Life of Brian." Brian, a Christ-like figure in this comedy, had just been nailed to the cross by the Romans and was in the process of dying from his crucifixion, when he broke out in a cheerful little toe-tapping song, part of the lyrics going:


Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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