March 10, 2005


Friends of Bill: Why do the Bushes love having Clinton around? It's all about politics and legacies (Howard Fineman, March 9, 2005, Newsweek)

Here’s a vividly ironic, and deeply symbolic, political moment: on the very day Bill Clinton was being embraced, almost literally, by father and son Bushes at the White House, Republicans were pushing through the Senate an anti-bankruptcy measure that corporate America has dearly wanted—and that Clinton vetoed as he was leaving office five years ago.

No wonder the Bushes, who play for the deepest of keeps, love having Clinton around. The former president has become the family’s favorite hunting trophy, a symbol of their (and the GOP’s) successful, decades-long rise to power.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 10, 2005 12:00 AM

Not that the left of the Democratic Party has anyone credible to run against her in the 2008 primaries, but having 41 and 43 keep Bill close also serves to antagonize the party's left against Hillary's pragmatic triangulation strategy.

Odds are there are still enough people in the party who believe she's just trying to fool moderate swing voters with her positions, rather than having had an actual come-to-Jesus conversion on the proactive use of military force or the inviolate right to third trimester abortions. That group no doubt is willing to stay mum about any misgivings they have about her strategy, but it does up the chances of disunity within the party leading up to 2008, since the GHWB-Bubba-GWB confabs have to be like fingernails on the blackboard to the true believers.

Posted by: John at March 10, 2005 1:15 AM

Perhaps, but given all the antics of the Bush-deranged left, I think it's good for the country that these former Presidents demonstrate a little civility. The country needs it and they know it.

No matter what one thinks of Clinton. (And I would very much like to give him the benefit of the doubt---just wish he was able to keep his pants zipped, though, and fib a bit less readily; but that be a bit too much to ask for, though one can always hope...---to the point where I have a hunch Bill would like to redeem himself at some point in the future. Since I am pretty sure he has about as much use for the Deaniac wing of the DP as anyone on this blog. Just a hunch, keeping in mind that the country needs a responsible DP ).

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 10, 2005 2:06 AM


Maybe its simpler than that. If the Bush family can forgive Bill, then Bill should forgive Jeb when he runs in '08.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at March 10, 2005 3:44 AM

Slick Willie is desperate to remain in the limelight. It is either hang around with the Bushes or dye his hair in rainbow colors and start appearing at sporting events with a John 3:16 sign.

Civility is an over-rated virtue, as is forgiveness. And the failure to utterly stomp your enemy into a mudhole whenever possible is a recipe for ultimate defeat.

Posted by: Bart at March 11, 2005 10:06 AM