A Chance for Democrats to Rid Themselves of the Clintons

By the time President Bill Clinton left office in January 2001, the whole country and Democrats, in particular, were exhausted and not just a little relieved. On one hand, President Clinton had managed to win two terms as President, something that no Democrat had achieved since President Franklin Roosevelt had managed it. On the other hand, President’s personal behavior and loose political ethics left many Democrats curled up in the showered trying to wash away the stench of the previous Administration.

Moreover, eight years of President Clinton triangulating between himself and Democrats and Republicans in Congress ushered in the first Republican Congress in a generation. In addition, Clinton tacked hard right passing the North American Free Trade Agreement and welfare reform with help of a Republican Congress over the objections of Democrats. It was President Clinton who conceded that the“era of big government is over.”

With peace and prosperity, President Clinton’s Democratic successor, Vice-President Al Gore, should have sailed in the presidency. Instead, anchored with Clintonian embarrassments, Gore lost to then Governor George W. Bush in a squeaker. President Clinton had secured his political success partially at the cost of his party.

Freed from the necessity of schilling for the Clintons after his term ended, many were liberated from internal partisan shackles to speak out against Clinton. On February 26, 2001, Bob Herbert, a Liberal pundit for the New York Times, wrote:

“Bill Clinton has been a disaster for the Democratic Party. Send him packing… You can’t lead a nation if you are ashamed of the leadership of your party. The Clintons are a terminally unethical and vulgar couple, and they have betrayed everyone who has ever believed in them.”

It has now been eight years since a Democratic president, and Democrats are hungry for another victory. With Republican weakness born of the Iraq War, Democrats smell victory. This explains the Faustian bargain entered by Democrats who are willing to settle for Senator Hillary Clinton because the Clintons have proven themselves winners in the past and wield an aura of invincibility. Many have made this choice despite the fact that even Democrats recognize her flaws. She has all the ambition of her husband, with little of the charm. Moreover, if elected she is likely to prove a divisive leader.

However, the entrance of Senator Barrak Obama in the race has offered a third choice. Although Obama is relatively inexperienced on the national scene, he has a charismatic appeal with a compelling life story. With Senator Obama, some Democrats have decided that there is someone else that can bring them to electoral victory; someone that Democrats do not have to be embarrassed about.

The choice for Democratic nominee in 2008 has not yet been made and Senator Clinton, backed by the Clinton political machine, remains the probable nominee. Nonetheless, Senator Obama’s popularity, particularly among young people, reveals a distaste for the Clintons usually concealed out of political necessity.

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