In the Arena

Please Be Quiet…Bake Cookies…Do Charitable Work…Anything

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What is it about Bill Clinton that he needs to make headlines whenever his wife seems to be doing well? I’m watching Clinton on TV denying that he said what he said yesterday–that the Obama campaign played the race card against him. Amazing.

Clinton still doesn’t get the real problem here. He was (a) a former President, (b) a revered figure in the black community and (c) a spouse of the candidate. His problems began when he said Obama’s history of opposition to the Iraq war was a “fairy tale.” This struck an exposed nerve in the African-American community: their great past hero was attacking their future hero. It was something that past Presidents and spouses should never do (Elizabeth Edwards got a pass because of her illness). It wasn’t that he played the race card against Obama–although his comparing Obama’s South Carolina victory to Jesse Jackson’s certainly scuffed the borderline–it was that the first “black” President had betrayed the community by taking a major hit-man role for his wife. It was considered unseemly…and not just by African-Americans.

Clinton’s activism has been a real detriment to his wife’s campaign. Almost every bomb he has tried to lob at Obama has blown up in his face. I’ve always liked and respected Clinton–he was a damn good President, especially compared to the horror that came after–but he’s been acting like a mortal jerk this year. It’s sad that he doesn’t seem to understand the damage that he’s done.