One of our favorite Bill Clinton anecdotes involves a confrontation he had with Bob Dole in the Oval Office after the 1996 election. Mr. Dole protested Mr. Clinton's attack ads claiming the Republican wanted to harm Medicare, but the President merely smiled that Bubba grin and said, "You gotta do what you gotta do."And if Bill has to play the role that Hillary played for so many years - the leader of the attack team to protect the main Clinton, Bill is up to the task. And Obama better learn how to deal with having the former president playing the attack dog of his opponent's campaign.
We're reminded of that story listening to Barack Obama protest his treatment by the now ex-President Clinton on behalf of his wanna-be-President wife. "You know the former President, who I think all of us have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling," Mr. Obama told a TV interviewer. "He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts -- whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas."
Now he knows how the rest of us feel.
The Illinois Senator is still a young man, but not so young as to have missed the 1990s. He nonetheless seems to be awakening slowly to what everyone else already knows about the Clintons, which is that they will say and do whatever they "gotta" say or do to win. Listen closely to Mr. Obama, and you can almost hear the echoes of Bob Dole at the end of the 1996 campaign asking, "Where's the outrage?"
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The Wall Street Journal sees Barack Obama learning a lesson about Bill Clinton that Republicans have known for a while. They don't mind prevarication if it will help them win.