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Posted by on Jan 21, 2008 in Politics | 2 comments

Hillary Clinton Adviser Suggests Bill Clinton Verbal Offensive Will Continue

A key adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton indicated former President Bill Clinton’s verbal offensive against Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic nomination race will continue: he called Obama’s charge that the former President was not honest about Obama’s campaign as “right wing talking points” — and almost gleefully noted that B.C.’s verbal nukes helped win Iowa and Nevada for the Clinton campaign.

So take that Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel, a segment of the progressive blogosphere and independent voters. It works, so there. And you can just see what’s coming heading up to Super Tuesday in this post on TPM Election Central: a

This is getting interesting. In an interview with me a couple of minutes ago, senior Hillary adviser Howard Wolfson claimed that Obama’s assertion this morning that Bill Clinton is fibbing about his campaign is a “right wing talking point.”

Wolfson was responding to my questions about Obama’s Good Morning America appearance this morning, in which Obama claimed that Bill has been dissembling badly about Obama campaign tactics. Obama also charged that Bill has been dissembling regularly about the Illinois Senator’s consistent opposition to the Iraq war and about Obama’s claim that the GOP has been the “party of ideas.”

“From time to time the Obama campaign has used right-wing talking points against Bill and Hillary Clinton,” Wolfson said at one point in response to questions about Obama’s appearance. Asked whether Obama’s claim that Bill is fibbing is one of them, Wolfson said: “Yes.”

The assertion that calling Bill a liar is a “right wing” attack escalates the battle over today’s Obama interview. And it’s heavily suggestive, because it seems to imply that Obama’s claims are of a piece with charged moments in the past when the right has attacked Bill for his mendacity.

It also tries to label anyone who dares raise their eyebrows over Mr. Clinton’s unprecedented shrill, intraparty partisanship for a former President as delivering “right wing talking points’ — which may anger some Democrats (and independent voters) enough to totally turn them off from voting for Mrs. Clinton if she does get the nomination.

And the tone in general? Here’s the “money” quote:

Pressed on whether there were any point at which Bill’s conduct would come to be seen by the campaign as a liability, and asked if there was any campaign discussion of this possibility, Wolfson replied.

“A few more liabilities like New Hampshire and Nevada, and we’ll win the nomination,” he said.

Wolfson also repeated the claim he’s made elsewhere that Obama’s criticism of Bill was born of frustration out of losses in New Hampshire and Nevada. “Losses are harder to take when you expect to win,” he said. “They’re taking that frustration out on Bill Clinton.”

So Bill Clinton — who is attacking Obama as a kind of undeclared Vice Presidential candidate playing the hatchet man “surrogate” role for the Presidential candidate — is now the victim.

Writes Matthew Yglesias:

According to Howard Wolfson, pointing out that Bill Clinton is lying is a “right-wing talking point” and thus all good liberals have a duty to grant Clinton a blanket license to fib. So when Clinton said he opposed the Iraq War, that must have been true, because I’m a liberal. And when Clinton said Barack Obama didn’t oppose the Iraq War, that must have been true too, because I’m a liberal.

Look, obviously Bill’s in an odd position because we’ve never had an ex-president’s wife run for president before. But if he wants to be treated as an elder statesman figure for fellow progressives, he needs to act like one. If he wants to be Hillary Clinton’s attack dog in a primary campaign, then he’s going to be treated as one. Certainly he’s not above criticism.

The blog Watching Those We Choose:

If you have young kids who play little league sports you have seen Bill Clinton’s recent behavior before. He is that dad who is so quick to yell at the referee or at the parents of kids on the opposing team. Worst of all he will yell at kids playing for the other team.

Little league dad isn’t watching the same game you are watching. Every slight is blown out of proportion. Every close call is a deeply personal affront to his kid and to him. Sometimes he yells at the coach, often because his kid isn’t the star player. For him winning the little league game isn’t just nice, it is the central reason for his existence. He totally loses perspective. He forgets that he has had his day on the field. He has abandoned being a parent and is living vicariously through his child. You watch with sympathy as his own humiliated kid looks around trying to find a hole to crawl into.

Over the last few weeks we have been subject to the little league dad on steroids…..Hillary, if you have really found your voice, for your own good and the country’s, tell Bill to stifle.

Wonkette makes THE point with snark:

Ahh, I love it when Barry gets charged up like this — when people make up things about him and his magical fairy kingdoms, and he actually responds! With folks like these running Our Democratic Party — a former popular president attacking the next generation’s star so his wife, who’s not so bad, can be president — the road to victory over John McCain has never been more open.

The net result of a Bill Clinton Unleashed with all the primaries to come could be that Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination. But just like All The King’s Horses And All The King’s Men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again, ever a superhuman effort by the Clintons would be unlikely to win back some angered Democrats and disgusted independent voters.

And then THIS GUY who doesn’t like Mrs. C is making noises about running again.

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