Hillary Clinton

Can the Clintons Help Democrats Win Seats in the Midterm Elections?

Democrats who would rather clean up after Ebola patients than appear with Obama are handcuffing themselves to the Clintons.

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Clintons
Wikimedia Commons

It's not surprising that many Democrats running for major offices this year would prefer not to sidle up to a president who has a record of raising taxes, pushing a federal health care overhaul, embracing action against climate change, talking about divisive racial issues, and cutting defense spending. But they have asked him to campaign for them anyway.

By "him," of course, I mean Bill Clinton. What? You thought I was talking about Barack Obama?

It may be hard for young voters to believe that once upon a time, Clinton was demonized as an incorrigible liberal who threatened the nation with military weakness, socialized health care and job-killing environmental rules—not to mention being a vile sexual predator. Republicans detested, vilified, and finally impeached him.

His wife was regarded as equally polarizing but even further to the left. Yet today, Democrats who would rather clean up after Ebola patients than appear with Obama are handcuffing themselves to the former president and first lady.

Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes refuses to say whether she voted for Obama, while bragging that she cast a primary ballot for Hillary Clinton in 2008. Grimes even persuaded Bill to do a TV ad for her.

He has been campaigning elsewhere, too, from Arkansas to Michigan to New Hampshire. What is true of the Bluegrass State is true of other places. "Kentucky voters identified with Mr. Clinton because of his rural Arkansas roots and centrist politics," reports The New York Times—forgetting that he never got more than 46 percent of the vote there in his presidential races.

Hillary, for her part, benefits not just from being the wife of Bill, but from having run against Obama in 2008. "Her popularity and motivational sway with women voters—certainly a, and arguably the, critical swing constituency in many contested Senate races—is significant, as is her fund-raising prowess," wrote John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics. Even in red states, her liberal history is no big deal.

That's one of the odd things. You don't have to be a Republican to admit that Sen. Mitch McConnell, Grimes' opponent, had a point when he said: "There's not a dime's worth of difference between a Clinton Democrat and an Obama Democrat."

Amid the campaign hoopla, you could almost forget that Hillary Clinton spent four years as Obama's secretary of state, arguably the most important position in the Cabinet. Or that she said his approval of the operation to get Osama bin Laden "was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I've ever seen." Or that she applauded his decision to send Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson, Missouri. Or that she has urged Democrats to run on Obamacare.

She and her husband have had occasional differences with the president, like her complaint that his "failure" to help Syrian rebels led to the rise of the Islamic State. But not too much should be made of that.

They do not bother reminding voters that the Clinton administration got grief from hawks on similar grounds. President Clinton was faulted for retreating from Somalia after the "Black Hawk Down" debacle and for repeatedly evading military intervention in the Balkans.

He drove interventionists to despair by refusing to send troops to prevent genocide in Rwanda. He was accused of giving too little attention to the danger posed by a shadowy group called al-Qaida. When he left office, the neoconservative Weekly Standard cover said, "Our Long National Nightmare Is Over."

Hillary would be more inclined to use military force than Obama, but that doesn't mean the GOP would support her. When her husband undertook a bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999, House Republicans defeated a resolution authorizing it. If you think she has a lot in common with conservatives on foreign affairs, I have one word for you: Benghazi.

Some of the appeal of the Clintons, particularly in the South, lies in an obvious difference with Obama: skin color. The New York Times noted "Obama's trouble in attracting traditional Democratic voters." No Democratic voters are more loyal than African-Americans, but it's whites who get labeled "traditional." Grimes and other Democrats, however, could lose because too many black voters stay home.

But time has a way of erasing memories and softening differences. Stick around a few years, and you may see Democrats avoiding Hillary Clinton and campaigning with the beloved elder statesman of the party: Barack Obama.

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  1. Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes refuses to say whether she voted for Obama

    How many times? Three?

    1. heh heh

    2. Three would be a minimum for a obot – once in the primary, once in each presidential.

      A true believe would be at nine or twelve votes for.

      1. I was thinking more that she denied him three times before the cock crowed, but your interpretation is pretty good so I shall pretend that was my intention

        1. she denied him three times before the cock crowed

          Sounds like a first date.

          1. So, in addition to “Yes means Yes”, “Cock means Yes” is also permitted?

  2. Some of the appeal of the Clintons, particularly in the South, lies in an obvious difference with Obama: skin color. The New York Times noted “Obama’s trouble in attracting traditional Democratic voters.”

    Ah, there’s the Chapman we’ve all grown to love.

    1. When you call them “bitter clingers”, of course you’re going to have trouble attracting them.

    2. Hey, this is according to no less an authority on Southern culture than the New York Times!

      Chapman’s talking out of his ass. Clinton was jokingly referred to as the first black president, but during Bush’s presidency Clinton was more popular among black Americans than any contemporary politician. We’re talking Kennedy levels of popularity.

      I’ll never forget about three years into the first Bush term I had just gotten a part-time job at a bookstore and was wandering around with a group of new hires being shown the lay of the land by a manager. She was a middle-aged black woman. Some book about Clinton had just come out, and, as we walked past the stack, a propos of nothing, she touched one and said, “There’s *my* president.”

      1. Chapman’s talking out of his ass

        Redundant?

      2. Hey, this is according to no less an authority on Southern culture than the New York Times!

        The publication that referred to Maryland as a red state.

    3. Again, why does Reason print this tripe? Chapman is an Obama apologist whose main impetus seems to be non-alienation of his Chicago Tribune readership. You may as well be syndicating Richard Cohen.

      1. Again, why does Reason print this tripe?

        It’s either this or Monday Merries

        1. Well, we could swap the day of the week and make it the tuesday tripe triptych

      2. We need articles written by SugarFree.

        On a more serious note, several contributors here – myself definitely not included – have made some great points that could easily be expanded into a decent article. I wonder why Reason doesn’t “crowd source” some of their H&R posts – it would certainly be better than some of the swill they publish.

        1. I’ve offered. Nick just sent back a 45 second video of him screaming into a pillow.

          I took it as a “no.”

          1. Nick screaming into a pillow – that sounds like the beginning of one of your….pieces.

            Sounds like “yes” to me, NutraSweet.

        2. I would subscribe to an HM newsletter on Asian and religious issues as interpreted through ass fetish videos.

            1. I’m astounded and feel more enlightened already.

    4. What? That’s complete crap. It’s like Obama’s horrific record isn’t sitting right there for us to evaluate. He’s among the very worst presidents in our history, and that has nothing to do with anything but his record.

      The Clintons are godawful, too, but Bill Clinton has the advantage of having been president during decent economic times. Which, of course, occurred despite him, but that makes him easier not to totally hate for your average voter.

  3. Ah, but the Democratic Party has moved to the left over the last 12 years.

  4. Well, the left does seem to have a thing for mass murdering sociopaths. So, why wouldn’t they cozy to the Clintons?

  5. Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me dude.

    http://www.anon-way.tk

  6. This is a huge “duh”. As Ted S notes, Obama is somewhere to the left of Mao, making Clinton (either of them) look like Reagan by comparison. (statist, but a less-left statist)

    Wow! That’s….so obvious.

    But it’s Chapman we’re talking about.

    Also, FUCK YOU IN THE ASS WITH A SHARP STICK SIDEWAYS Chapman for the “Southern = teh RACIST!” bullshit. FUCK. YOU.

    This from an inveterate Midwest northerner, even, so ain’t like I’m standing up for my kin or “folks” or something, you racist, smug fuck.

    That is all.

    1. “As Ted S notes, Obama is somewhere to the left of Mao”

      Hahahah, the crazies in the commentariat are why I keep coming back to the website.

      1. “MADNESS!” – that guy at the end of “Bridge on the River Kwai”

        1. “That guy”?

          You mean Sir Alec F*#@ing Guinness?

  7. President Clinton was faulted for retreating from Somalia after the “Black Hawk Down” debacle and for repeatedly evading military intervention in the Balkans.

    Evading? He repeatedly evaded until he no longer did? Since Chapman is so stupid he is unaware, apparently, but we have been in the fucking Balkans much longer than the “longest American War evah” in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    It is just crazy. We have to get out of foreign entanglements, except for those in Europe? Get out of Afghanistan? When the fuck are we going to leave the Balkans?

    1. Yeah, that one was the oddest part of a strange article.

      I got off a C-130 at Sarajevo Aerodrom almost exactly 18 months to the day that Wild Bill said “the boys will be home”.

      1. Do we not still have a presence there? If so, it has been going on a decade longer than the current debacle.

      2. In 1999 I ran into a high school friend who graduated a year after me (1997). He was back in town from Bosnia while his knee healed. He was a Ranger and had dislocated his knee in a bad landing. So, yeah, it’s a little strange to read that Clinton apparently evaded military action in Bosnia.

    2. *Get out of Afghanistan? When the fuck are we going to leave the Balkans?*

      Or Korea [60 years]
      Or Germany [70 years]
      Or Japan [70 years]
      Or the Philippines [120 years]
      Or Cuba [120 years]

  8. Let me guess: Chapman’s Ready for Hillary!

    1. CORRECT!

      Johnny, tell Teh Late P Brooks what he has won!!!!

      1. A shitty government? Oh wait… we all “won” that already.

    2. I guarantee you this fucking dickhead is dreaming of President Elizabeth Warren, but yes, he’ll have to settle for being Ready for Hillary in the end like the rest of them.

  9. So,Chapman is the house prog?

    1. More like the house “dog”. Previously he filled that role for CATO’s radio commentariat, Byline.

    2. He’s ONE of the house progs.

  10. You may as well be syndicating Richard Cohen.

    Hiltzik; he’s good for a laugh. Chapman’s just a dreary bore.

  11. The New York Times noted “Obama’s trouble in attracting traditional Democratic voters”

    Your comment does not appear to be written in an English script. Please comment in English.

  12. I really find that these articles are hilarious .. When Bill “Bubba” Clinton was in charge , he overlooked the Ebola in W. Africa .. He overlooked big time the Terrorist aspect at their FIRST attempt to blow up and destroy the WTC buildings …

    Let alone Tyson debacle and Monica and on and on .. How hilarious you people are .. Making his money off the poor and needy like the Haitians .. Raising funds and they haven’t seen a dime and he and the other liar in chief G.H.W. Bush don’t ever mention that ..

    When is there going to be truth in publishing .. Like Ms. Clinton’s pension for being a Community Organizer , not as in Dr. Martin Luther King style , rather that of Saul Alinsky “style” of Community Organizing ..

    To rile people up and create confusion and anger among people .. She is still using this technique to convince women that we are the problem solvers and that we are so much smarter then men .. Really Ms. Clinton ??

    Manipulation is not being smarter it is just being dirtier in tactics .. You may fool the dimwits who believe in lying to get what you want ..

    Let us not forget the money factor .. Which both the Clinton’s make a lot of .. Oh sure they may be able to show on paper that they only earned a small amount .. HA !!

    With all the legal tax shelters and loop-holes , like Bill’s bogus “Funds” in which he raises money to “fund” causes but of course there are ways that he gets a stip-end for Administrative fees .. Pulleeze ..

  13. The Clintons are like many career politicians (both parties) who hang around for decades in their quest for power, to which they are addicted. They (and many others) should have left the political scene many years ago to write their memoirs, or grow roses, or whatever. Instead they force themselves on the American people like some chronic disease, with no cure in site.

    They represent a good case for The Presidency to become an office with a six year term limit. Six years in the White House and you are gone forever! That means that Obama would be gone by now. That should also apply to contenders for The Presidency like Romney, for example. If you run once and lose, that should be it. One run and you are out.

    Regrettably, this system is unlikely to change in the near future, and the American people will be infested with politicians who bore them to death. It would be like having a diet of stale bread for every meal. One can always hope that this system will change, and that term limits (if only for The Presidency) will become law. If so, it will be like getting rid of stinky old sox.

    1. Why not just get rid of “the presidency” altogether? The Swiss seem to be managing just fine without one.

      As for “boring” politicians, those are the good ones.

    2. I think term limits should be abolished. We needed FDR for more than two terms, and otherwise I don’t think most humans would be mentally able to go on to a third term anyway. You could see “fuck this shit” on the faces of every modern president somewhere around year 6. But I’m opposed to term limits on democratic grounds. The people should be able to choose to reelect someone if they want.

  14. nation with military weakness, socialized health care and job-killing environmental rules

    Well, to be fair, two of those three things he did attempt.

    1. Yet today, Democrats who would rather clean up after Ebola patients than appear with Obama are handcuffing themselves to the former president and first lady

      To be fair-er, Clinton failed at the things above.

  15. By “him,” of course, I mean Bill Clinton. What? You thought I was talking about Barack Obama?

    Hi Steve,

    So, how many u.s. Troops are in Iraq again? How much has the defense budget decreased while arch-fiend Obama has been in office? Geesch, I know its Koch brothers check writing time, but these right-wing cheerleading articles are just a little too much.

    Maybe the reason why DINOs in Kentucky are having such a problem running against an ossified reactionaries is that they refuse to run on anything resembling principles. You mean I’m supposed to give money to defend the likes of Mary landrieu and mark Pryor? I say good riddance.

    1. You make no sense. But then, that’s to be expected given your user name.

      1. Sadly, that was one of his saner moments. It does not get better.

  16. Bill Clinton was demonized as an incorrigible liberal who threatened the nation with military weakness

    He did cut the military budget and force structure. Agree or not with whether it needed cutting, this seems accurate.

    socialized health care

    One of his very first major efforts was pushing his version of federal health care reform, which would indeed have been a long step toward this. Again, seems accurate.

    and job-killing environmental rules?

    Since the EPA named their building after him, I’m gonna guess this one is accurate, too.

    not to mention being a vile sexual predator.

    Credible allegations of rape and banging the interns? Close enough.

    1. Reason has a fluid approach to the issue of sexual predation. I think it depends on whether Bill Clinton is involved.

  17. Chapman you ignorant slut, did you read the following
    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..d-burning/

    and then decided to put a positive spin on it you moron?

  18. My roomate’s aunt makes $71 /hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for six months but last month her income was $12021 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    You can try this out. ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

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