Friday, June 06, 2008

Are We all Clinton Junkies? Howard Kurtz says YES!

Howard Kurtz is a first-rate reporter and observer. When he was much younger [and much rotunder] in 1984, he came to our house and interviewed myself & my spouse about the Mark Hatfield bribery scandal over $100,000 Mark's wife Antoinette had taken from our employer for supporting the Trans-African Pipeline [also supported by CIA chief Bill Casey]. The story hit the front page of the NYT & WaPo plus all three networks----still one of those inside-the-Beltway scandals that aficianados can remember.

Howard was the most sincere & honest truth-seeker among the many reporters [including a skanky-sexy Kim Cattrall precursor from the NYT] interviewing us for the inside story. Now he has hit paydirt once again---although we are in the Clinton Cocoon, so HK has a lot of competition. But he is essentially correct.
f, as this vexing veep search plays out, Barack Obama eventually picks someone other than Hillary Clinton, anyone else, to be his running mate, it could have a devastating impact on part of the nation's economy.

What would the media do?

I mean, really: How could we fill airtime and column inches without the Clintonian soap opera? How could pundits draw paychecks without asking what Hillary really wants? How could we fulfill our First Amendment responsibilities without wildly speculating about the role of Bill Clinton in an Obama administration?

For all the unrelenting criticism of Hillary Clinton for refusing to get off the stage, the media really don't want her off the stage. There has been a journalistic fascination with her, bordering on obsession, ever since she emerged as the wronged woman in the Gennifer Flowers episode and as the headband-wearing feminist who said she could have stayed home and baked cookies but decided to pursue her law career instead. Throughout the White House years--through Whitewater and the missing billing records and Paula and Monica and her declaration of a vast right-wing conspiracy--Hillary was big news.

She was big news when she became the first first lady elected to the Senate, big news as she geared up for a presidential campaign, big news when she teared up, big news when she went from inevitable to impossible, big news when she talked about answering the phone at 3 a.m., big news when she said "Shame on you, Barack Obama!" one day and touted their friendship the next.

And on the rare days when she wasn't big news, Bill Clinton was.

Now, after weeks of chronicling why she stayed in the race, why she didn't concede when Obama clinched the nomination, and why she made a very public hint of her availability for the No. 2 slot, Hillary is the gift that keeps on giving. The media world is awash with reporting and speculation about her motivation and advice to Obama on what he should do.

And if Obama wins in November, imagine the joys of covering whether Vice President Clinton is pursuing her own agenda, and the inevitable stories about what the Second Spouse is up to. Now compare that to the prospect of covering, say, Evan Bayh in the VP's office. Case closed.

Sadly or no, politics in the USA has become a fantastic soap opera---John McCain can't hope to figure in the "As DC Turns" Sweepstakes---that the media battens on as tragedy turns into farce and then into a pale stand-up comedy routine.

Bill has now become a sort of ginormous Ego called the "Comeback Id" by Vanity Fair who is devoid of self-knowledge and thirsting ever more for fresh accolades, affirmations, and of course young flesh. He's unstoppable and a sort of literary figure along the lines of an older wiser Caligula or Nero without the power to kill people at will. And she remains the carrier of the flame, a woman who will do almost anything to get ahead and become the First Female President---a role she has hankered after since her Wellesley valedictorian speech hit the national headlines.

If Obama swallows the cup of poison [like the Ayatollah Khomeini at his truce with Saddam] & she does get the VP nod, I believe that the backstairs antics will overshadow policy considerations and Mitt Romney's observation about "Bill in the WH with nothing to do" will assure a one-term POTUS role for Obama, sort of a Jimmy Carter with charm.

McCain looks like a RINO desperately trying to win without the Repub base, stealing disaffected Hillary voters and Independents & "Bradley Effect" elderly voters. John thinks he can pull off a centrist/independent presidency, but the MSM will crucify this "straight-talk express" guy who can't give a speech with prompters, let alone outshine Obama in any other forum [does anyone actually believe Obama would submit to a townhall round-robin?].

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