September 24, 2006

Clinton on "Fox News Sunday."

You read the transcript yesterday. You saw the clip. Now, you've seen the whole interview. Impressions?

Knowing he was going to get mad, I watched him carefully before he got mad. He had a very relaxed and jovial manner as he mused about his new life of philanthropy. Then Chris Wallace changed the subject and asked this:
When we announced that you were going to be on fox news Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I got to say I was surprised most of them wanted me to ask you this question. Why didn’t you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President. There’s a new book out which I suspect you’ve read called the Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, Bin Laden said I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of US troops. Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole... And after the attack, the book says, Bin Laden separated his leaders because he expected an attack and there was no response. I understand that hindsight is 20 20.... [T]he question is why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?
Now, Clinton has an answer to this question, and he could have just given it. But he aggressively inserts challenging complaints about Fox News.
I want to talk about the context of which this…arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network…

So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me.
What Wallace asked just doesn't seem to be enough of a "hit job" to justify attacking the interviewer like that. For people who hate Fox News already, it might make sense, but he's on Fox News, being seen by the regular Fox News viewers. How is it a good strategy to rant on the assumption everyone knows Fox News is unfair? He gets irked at Chris Wallace in a personal way: "And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever." I hadn't been planning to think about Richard Nixon, but I got a Nixon vibe from this. He lets it show that he thinks about how his enemies are persecuting him.

Clinton leans way forward into Wallace's space. He even jabs him in the knee a few times with his finger. Meanwhile, he seems unaware of his own ungainly body. He's gotten quite fat, and his suits -- which he keeps buttoned -- don't fit him properly anymore. He's sitting with his feet apart and planted on the floor, and the pantlegs get hiked way up so that a wide band of white leg shows above each sock.

In the second half of the interview, he gets back to his original relaxed, jovial style. Pants still hiked up though. Wallace ends the interview, saying "Mr. President, thank you for one of the more unusual interviews." They shake hands, and Clinton, says "Thanks." There's just a glimmer of an expression on his face that seems to say uh-oh, I might have exposed myself out there.

131 comments:

Gahrie said...

It must be stated that every time Chris Wallace tried to ask about the CGI, Clinton kept going back to the war on terror, and launching fresh attacks on Fox News and the right.

So the whole attack by the left on Wallace and Fox News because "they went back on their pledge to talk about the CGI for half the interview" is just typical liberal bullshit.

Gerry said...

Might have?

I wonder if, deep down inside, he does not want Hillary to be President. Perhaps he fears being outshone by his wife.

But that's probably just reading way too much into it. He's shown before that he is capable of badly misplaced righteous indignation. He's an extremely good politician, but not a perfect one. I am assuming that this is just one of those cases where he screwed up, and it has no deeper meaning than that.

Either way, I'll take it.

Michael said...

I have never seen an ex-president so uncontrolled.

Oh, and this:

My Republican Secretary of Defense, and I think I'm the only president since WWII to have a Secretary of Defense of the opposite party....

That's smart, let's remind everyone that you needed a Republican to run the DoD.

PWS said...

It is incredibly surprising that Clinton did this. He was the ultimate politician; I always felt when he was in office *everything* he did was politically calculated to the hilt. He is an opportunist who hid his more liberal "true" self in order to gain power. I think the interview shows that he doesn't want to be tarred with what are largely viewed as Bush's failures. For whatever reason, the question struck a nerve; it's also hard to know what conversation he and Wallace had before they sat down. Has anyone asked Bush the same question?

Goatwhacker said...

In a way this reminds me of his apology to the country for lying about Lewinsky. Although he was generally contrite in the first part of that speech, he did present an air of annoyance. Then, instead of leaving it at that and saying he'd get back to work, he used the second half to complain about Ken Starr and the GOP, leaving the appearance of simultaneously taking responsibility on himself and shifting it to someone else.

As most posters in yesterday's thread said, I am certainly willing to forgive Clinton for not taking terrorism more seriously in the 1990's. Nobody took them seriously enough, if there is a blame it should be shared. There is no need for him to go into attack mode.

George said...

Excuse me, for a moment, friends. Let us now pause to consider Herbert Hoover.

In a highly intellectual article on Presidential doodles in this month’s Atlantic Magazine, we are told that “while [Hoover’s] doodles hinted at elaborate and expansive visions, they never included any people. This failure to take human beings into account was all too evident in his slow reaction to the Great Depression.”

Wrong and wronger.

Hoover aggressively took innovative steps to try to stem the Depression but failed. While some may scoff at the above statement, it is agreed that he was a great humanitarian whose efforts saved millions of lives in Europe after WWI and thousands more spearheading recovery efforts after the 1927 Mississippi flood. And, gee whiz, Hoover was an orphan. He knew suffering. He anonymously gave his salary as President to the needy.

People hated Hoover so much that Will Rogers joked that if someone bit an apple and found a worm in it, Hoover would get the blame.

http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/summer/hoover-2.html

After leaving the White House, Hoover spent the remaining 32 years of his life watching his reputation being shredded, whipped, and burned. From what I can tell, he dealt with this by staying active professionally and going about his business in a humble and dignified fashion.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog commenting….

David said...

Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson, ret., who carried the nuclear codes for President Clinton addressed this issue in his book Dereliction Of Duty.

Needless to say, on at least two occasions, Bill Clinton refused to be interrupted by the inconvenience of a Bin Laden opportunity.

Libs and passivists send the 'opportunity' to committee then talk it to death until the window closes. Madeline Albright aided and abetted this failure of will and resolve.

The United Nations and France were proud of Clinton's appease and negotiate position regarding terrorism. Then they blow off the blow back by referring to terrorist attacks as police matters!

Shuck and Jive at its finest!

The Drill SGT said...

I don't have cable and haven't seen the whole things, but a couple of things strike me as strange.

1. Clinton comes on Fox and then complains they are biased?

2. He doesn't expect questions about OBL, GWOT and The Path to 9/11?

3. Clinton is the most contrived and theatrical of presidents. When he does a sista soldjah moment, I expect it was planned. But this one seemed poorly executed

4. It reminds everybody on Monicia and his bold faced lies to the American people. "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky!!!"

Zach said...

There’s a new book out, I suspect you’ve already read, called

The Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, bin Laden said, I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of U.S. troops. Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the Cole.

CLINTON: OK, let’s just go through that.

WALLACE: Let me — let me — may I just finish the question, sir?

And after the attack, the book says that bin Laden separated his leaders, spread them around, because he expected an attack, and there was no response.

I understand that hindsight is always 20/20…

CLINTON: No, let’s talk about it.

WALLACE: … but the question is, why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?


Snip

And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden. They had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say I didn’t do enough said I did too much — same people.

Snip

No, wait. No, wait. Don’t tell me this — you asked me why didn’t I do more to bin Laden. There was not a living soul. All the people who now criticize me wanted to leave the next day.

Snip

No, no. I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him.

What struck me is that the original question is about Al Quaeda -- why didn't you connect the dots and put them out of business. When Clinton answers the question, it's to say that it's unfair, because he tried to kill Bin Ladin.

I have no doubt that Clinton considered taking out Bin Ladin desirable, probably even a priority. But I don't think he thought of Al Quaeda as a target of the same magnitude, or combating Al Quaeda as a goal worth sacrificing other things to achieve. He talks about putting together an attack plan for Afghanistan, but complains that the FBI and CIA didn't certify Al Quaeda as responsible. Did he push for certification? Did he prepare the public for a full-scale war? How does the runup for the aborted Afghan campaign compare to the runup to Bosnia?

downtownlad said...

A better tactic would have been for Clinton to have sat there, like a deer in headlights, saying nothing for 10 minutes. Worked for Bush.

Tim said...

"A better tactic would have been for Clinton to have sat there, like a deer in headlights, saying nothing for 10 minutes. Worked for Bush."

Clinton's deer in headlights look came with Monica's pro-bono services off of the Oval Office. His mistake was leaving evidence behind.

JorgXMcKie said...

Can anyone say, "the buck stops here?"

downtownlad, how many people were killed in a terrorist attack just before Clinton had to make that huge ex-Presidential response to Chris Wallace? Tu quoque is really, really unattractive as an attempt at argument, don't you think?

I've said before that in 1992 I perceived Clinton as a coward in most all (probably all) the important areas. He also appears to embody most of the worst of (my) Boomer Generation proclivities. For instance, love me for who I am not what I do.

The worst part is that we'll undoubtedly have to put up with similar stuff from Clinton for the next 30 years or so and we may even (shudder) begin to long for the good old days when Jimmy Clinton was the worst example of an ex-Pres.

Barley said...

Was it really necessary to knock President Clinton's appearance? I actually thought that he looked quite good considering the fact that he has had major heart surgery.

johnstodderinexile said...

It is entirely possible for someone like Hoover to be a "great humanitarian" but have no concept of people as individuals. It is also entirely possible for someone to lift themselves up from impoverished circumstances and with time become unsympathetic with people who are now experiencing what they overcame.

FDR, who lacked some of Hoover's bonafides, was a great "Message: I care" type of leader, which the country clearly wanted to replace the cold, distant, "my plan will work" type of technocrat that Hoover was.

Taking this back to Clinton, what people love about him is his fulsome humanity. He might not be the most flawed president we've ever had, but he was the most publicly flawed. And many people loved him for it. Even his foes were constantly disarmed by it.

What's interesting about this Fox interview is the divided reaction to it. The left-wing blogs thought he hit a home run. The fat Clinton with ill-fitting clothes losing his temper and lecturing a reporter for being unfair and partisan -- that's the guy they fell in love with, and today they've fallen in love all over again.

The right obviously sees this more critically, as Clinton being "unpresidential," a position I can completely understand and endorse. His demonizing of Fox News comes off as childish, since Wallace's question seems completely fair.

But what the right doesn't get (and I'm not talking about you, Ann) is that Clinton's portrayal of himself as a victim almost always works for him. His supporters always rally to his side, and they bring many fence-sitters with them.

This has no relevance whatsoever to Hilary. She has none of these qualities. She is much more like Hoover -- big ideas, but unable to connect with people. If anything, Clinton's latest aria shows why Hilary is deficient as a presidential candidate.

teddy_kgb said...

This is what happens when we elect a commander in chief who never served in the military in any meaningful way.

That criticism applies to both President Clinton's past inaction and attempt to shift blame, and the ignorance and ineptitude of President Bush.

Guiliani may be acceptable because NYC before his term as governor was a warzone.

Ann Althouse said...

Barley said: "Was it really necessary to knock President Clinton's appearance?"

The discussion of his appearance is part of the analysis of his behavior and his emotional state. Not realizing his pants were hiked up showing bare leg was quite telling, in my opinion. The fact that he's grown fat also means something. I'm certainly not going to let the prudes and scolds stop me from talking about how things look. I spent all last week standing my ground on exactly that and I'm sure as hell not going to back down now. How people dress, the expressions on their face, the stance they adopt when they are in a particular situation -- all these things have meaning, and I intend to write about it and strongly defend my decision to write about it.

Jim Hu said...

I was under the impression that Chris Wallace isn't even a conservative... unless being on Fox makes one a conservative by definition.

ganzo azul said...

With profuse apologies since this may only appeal to my sense of humour, on being a fat child

"The rope in the playground was tied at one end to a tree and at the other end to a swing set. The kids would line up on one side and take turns running and jumping over it. All the other kids cleared the rope ... Me, I didn't clear the rope." [I tried, I failed.]

"I was a little chunky anyway, and slow, so slow that I was once the only kid at an Easter egg hunt who didn't get a single egg, not because I couldn't find them but because I couldn't get to them fast enough." [I tried, I failed.]

I don't think we're capable of falling in love with him all over again.

Jason said...

Enough of this notion that ex-presidents are above the fray. Truman especially acted like an ass toward Eisenhower. He even wrote articles claiming the latter was the worse president ever. Go back in history and you will find even more eggregious examples than Bill Clinton. (Especially check our Teddy Roosevelt.)

More recently, Jimmy Carter has arguably done great damage to United States foreign policy with his shenanigans.

I'm also rather annoyed at all the political correctness. Since when does one surrender their freedom of speech upon becoming an ex-president? And since when do foreign leaders of state have no free speech while in this country?

Dave said...

Actually, Clinton mangled history when he asserted that he was the first President to appoint a Defense Secretary from another party. William McNamara was a Republican when JFK asked him to serve, and he continued in that position through most of LBJ's term. Clinton made a couple of other dubious assertions of historical fact, in the wild way that people argue when their emotions overpower reason.

The injured emotional quality of Clinton's argument struck me most. Chris Wallace framed his opening question by recapitulating the themes of a book, The Looming Tower. Clinton responded by complaining about the ABC-TV movie from last week and spouting a whole stream of words about how US troops stayed in Somalia for six months after Blackhawk down, and all this criticism comes from one place, and his critics were all arguing the opposite when he was in office, and, and, and . . . Whew!

I practically heard Clinton scream "It's not fair! It's not fair! It's not fair!" to criticize him for his antiterrorism policies. He's right--life isn't fair. If a cruise missile in 1998 had killed Bin Laden, derailing the 9/11 plot, no one (even among Democrats) would have credited Clinton with saving 3,000 lives in 2001. And it isn't fair that Clinton didn't get to formulate the policy response to 9/11 because he was no longer President. I'm amazed that Clinton indulged his emotions that much in the interview.

The fact remains that Clinton's defensiveness won't make anyone who thinks Clinton missed opportunities to get Bin Laden sit up and say "Damn! Clinton was right all along." At the same time, at least a few who think Clinton is getting a bum rap are likely to be shaking their head in amazement.

AJ Lynch said...

Barley scolded Ann by saying:
"Was it really necessary to knock President Clinton's appearance? I actually thought that he looked quite good considering the fact that he has had major heart surgery."

Barley- if you visit here enough, you will learn that Ann notices "stuff" and her inquisitiveness about stuff makes her blog interesting.
I wish our politicians were more like Ann.

David Walser said...

Ann wondered about whether it was good strategy to complain about Fox being unfair on Fox. You'd think regular Fox viewers wouldn't think Fox is, as a rule, unfair. Yet, many of the viewers of today's program may have been drawn by the pre-broadcast publicity. [I generally don't watch Fox News Sunday. (I find my Sunday's much more pleasant if I take the day off politics.) I suspect that many watching were not part of Fox' regular audience. It will be interesting to see the ratings the show gets.] Still, even if today's broadcast claimed a lot of new viewers, I still suspect this was bad strategy on Clinton's part. He simply came off as angry and that's seldom attractive.

I think most people are willing to give everyone before 9/11 a pass. No one took terrorism seriously enough. The problem with Clinton's rage about The Path to 9/11 and his behavior on Fox News Sunday is that it reminds voters of how our world changed on that morning: After 9/11 we had to connect the dots. We had to take the threat seriously. Etc. Clinton's actions highlight the fact that Democrats want to go back to a 9/10 mindset: We have to get a judge's permission to gather data. Dots have to be connected to a beyond-reasonable-doubt level before taking action. Terrorism is a law enforcement problem. Etc. I doubt that reminding voters of what happened on 9/11 -- and our failure to prevent it by not connecting the dots -- will serve to sell the public that now is the time to return to a pre-9/11 world view.

downtownlad said...

Jorg - Bush is just as much a coward as Clinton.

They are both disgusting human beings. Clinton abused his position to have sex. And Bush was a lowly drunk and now he's part of the Christian cult.

We deserve better.

johnstodderinexile said...

Wasn't it strange how so many of the left-wing blogs, upon hearing about Clinton's tirade, assumed Fox wouldn't run it, because Clinton "stood up" to Fox News? Their paranoia on this was quite sincere and genuinely saddening.

LuteLib said...

how it should've gone:

Wallace: "I understand that hindsight is 20 20 ... but the question so many of our viewers ask is, 'Why do i solely blame the guy from the other side of the aisle? Is it because that in my gut, it just feels right for clinton to be 100% wrong and my guy to be 100% right?'"

Clinton: Wow, this is refreshing Chris. I mean, I've been attacked non-stop since that whole Disney propaganda film. i did what i could during my presidency, but before 9/11 there wasn't much political will in either party. During Kosovo, Tom Delay sounded like Howard Dean did in the run-up to Iraq. In any case, I'm glad Fox News didn't take this chance to encourage yet another "It's clinton's fault!" routines -- which seem to be so popular on the blogs.

Wallace: You're welcome. I keep just enough distance from my audience to appear respectable -- although the commenters on the blog are going to eat this stuff up! Some may even suggest it was "libs and passivists" who missed the opportunity to get Osama.
There's still one thing I don't get, Mr. Clinton -- why are your pants hiked up and and your legs so pasty white? I mean, we had a civil discussion and your appearance should ... reflect that?

Fenrisulven said...

So much spin and ad hom from the Left, all over a simple question:

Why didn’t you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President

Paul Zrimsek said...

How it should've gone:

Wallace: "I understand that hindsight is 20 20 ... but the question so many of our viewers ask is, Why am I questioning the guy I'm actually interviewing when I could be ignoring him and making a speech criticizing some guys I'm not interviewing?"

LuteLib said...

thanks fenrisulven for keeping my caricature of "why didn't clinton/bush stop 9/11?!!" going.

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."
~ Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/5/99, about Kosovo.

One side isn't right and the other wrong, we were all unprepared. Please stop the "why didn't he do more" arguments and start asking how we can do more.

Shanna said...

All of President Bush’s neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden.

This is the new spin. And Clinton went on Fox so he could get mad and hammer the point home.

I think the whole thing was a contrived excuse to sell this talking point, as well as being able to throw in his digs at Fox News. But I also think that he is genuinely mad, mostly because, as someone said earlier, it's so unfair that Bush got to respond to 9/11 and Clinton didn't. I just think that bothers him greatly. He would have loved to be there, at ground zero, crying with everyone and dolling out words of wisdom. I bet it just kills him that he wasn't.

LuteLib said...

mr. zrimsek-
yeah i guess my original question didn't make much sense ... haha
a very clumsy way to prove a point

vnjagvet said...

Did Clinton help anyone with this performance?

Probably not.

He did not help himself, because he acted petulant, and was gratuitously nasty to Chris Wallace, who nonetheless, tried valiantly to maintain a respectful demeanor. His anger seemed feigned and stagey to me.

He did not help his wife if gerry's reaction is typical.

He did not help the democrats, because he dredges up fine points that are irrelevant to the situations in which they now find themselves.

This performance was all about him. I wonder if that is how history will view his Presidency.

Fenrisulven said...

thanks fenrisulven for keeping my caricature of "why didn't clinton/bush stop 9/11?!!" going. One side isn't right and the other wrong, we were all unprepared. Please stop the "why didn't he do more" arguments and start asking how we can do more.

Whoever said "one side is right, the other wrong"? Bush made mistakes re Bin Laden. Why is it wrong to ask Clinton why he didn't do more?

I think the question scares the Left, because they already know the answer: It is still relevant, because if elected, the Left will revert to the same failed policies of Clinton. So we need to discuss how and why those polcies failed us.

The "Clinton-hater" meme is meant as a distraction, just like Jessica complaining that we were mocking her breats...

Jim H said...

And Bush was a lowly drunk and now he's part of the Christian cult.

The United Methodist Church is a cult?

LuteLib said...

if elected, the left would do the same thing we're doing now -- only with competence and accountability (i think the same if mccain gets elected too). i am excited to move on to leadership that does not award medals to those who fail us. i'm looking forward to a new pres, right or left, in '08.

fenrisulven -- people have tried to answer the "why didn't x do more?" question in many autobiographies, articles, military analysts' books and the 9/11 report.

yeah it's not wrong to ask, but there seems to be a clinton-is-the-problem thing going on lately, and it's sort of a cop-out. it was clear in your first post, when you said the left avoids the "why didn't YOU do more" question, when it really doesn't.

i agree with the first paragraph of your latter comment, although i must have missed that jessica-breast adventure.

Revenant said...

Bush was a lowly drunk and now he's part of the Christian cult.

Er... Clinton is a Christian, too.

Also, calling the largest religion in the history of humanity "a cult" makes you look silly and childish. You might want to do something about that.

Revenant said...

the left would do the same thing we're doing now -- only with competence and accountability

So the left would also engage in warrantless wiretapping, imprisonment of foreigners and US citizens without trial, and the use of aggressive, quasi-torturous interrogation techniques... but competently?

Good to know.

Seven Machos said...

Chris's comments are very interesting. His/her argument seems to amount to: if Democrats were in charge, we would be doing the same things that Bush has done, only we would do them better.

You will recall that this was candidate Kerry's 2004 platform, and that it worked out poorly for him. (A "competency" platform failed to work for Mike Dukakis as well.) I note also that the strategy of radical change seems as though it would work even more pitifully for Democrats (though, admittedly, it has never been tried.)

My question is: lefties what are you going to do? You can wallow in the past for only so long? You can argue for competence but it doesn't seem to work. You can try for radical change but no one seems to want ot.

Also, does it help or hurt your cause for Clinton to yell and scream like this?

PoliShifter said...

Ohhhh CLinton got mad!!

Look every body! Clinton's upset!

No matter how mad you think Clinton got, it pales in comparison to Bush's temper and angry disposition.

Did ya see the Matt Lauer interview with Dear Leader Bush?

Clinton may have gotten upset (and rightfully so) but no where near as upset or angry as Bush gets a reporters who ask tough questions like "why do you insist on connecting Iraq to 9/11 Mr. President?"

Did ya see Dear Leader go off on David Gregory?

That's our Bush, no one gets as mad as he does.

Seven Machos said...

"Dear leader." I love that. The suggestion that a freely elected, two-term president is somehow equivalent to a dictator who starves and kills his own people.

I also note that Polishifter's comment nicely sums up the inability of today's left to articulate policy or make cogent arguments that might affect people who have not already decided.

Also, I note that for these people, it's all about Bush. Here we are talking about Clinton: his interview, his successes or failures against terrorism, his presidency. And what does our commenter say: That's our Bush, no one gets as mad as he does.. (This despite the fact that Bush has never appeared more unhinged than Clinton did in his FOX interview, and that it doesn't matter if he did.)

vnjagvet said...

Polishifter:

Why is Clinton less of a Dear Leader to his claque than Bush is to his?

Sounds to me that Clinton is your Dear Leader. He like Bush will not be running again. Without a Dear Leader for anyone, what then?

LuteLib said...

(* backing away from polishifter's comments)

if the dem's competence cannot overcome the religious fanatics (the terrorists, not the methodists haha), then we slowly back our selves out of bush's mess. there's no other choice.

i like the left's emphasis on personal freedom (re revenant's "wiretapping, fair trial?" comment). it's morally right and pries away conservatives scared of bush's big gov.

despite that, i'm a huge proponent of torture (and a huge fan of 24!) it really helps our image abroad, and gets us useful, unbiased information.

seven machos: yep, the democrats (and repub moderates) would fix bush's mess better. they wouldn't do the "same things that Bush has done," because they wouldn't have gone into iraq.

the problem in '04 was that kerry wasn't forceful and articulate enough, and... the competency platform usually isn't too politically powerful.

however, i think '08 will be the exception. hopefully. if not, than mccain or virtually anyone else could do things better.

boston70 said...

Clinton was terrific and he did what most of the spineless democrats should do if, and that's a big if, they ever appear on Fox.

I don't think any liberals or democrats should even appear on the network because it is such an obviously biased network it will never benefit any of them.

The thing with Fox is they generally get the wimpiest looking "liberals" on all of their programs (Allen Colmes) while the conversatives tend to be good looking and hold court. Also, some of the "professional" democrat consultants that go on any of their programs are a complete joke, again total wimps who tend to generally agree with the republicans.

I don't think there is anything wrong with have a network like this. It serves a purpose.

But if any of you actually think of Fox as fair and balanced you are unbalanced.

I thought it was interesting the segue into the interview was a quote from Falwell saying that a vote for Hillary Clinton would be a vote for Lucifer-and this was actually during a prayer breakfast that Falwell was having-nice.

Chris Wallace has never asked anyone in the Bush admin. why they didn't get Bin Laden before 9/11. Chris Wallace, also on many occasions, has gone off on Richard Clarke, who has served Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and Dubya.

During this interview Clinton proved while he was elected twice. He is smart as a whip, can speak at the same level as the "common man" without coming off as an idiot and knows public policy.

It would be nice to have someone like that in the oval office now but unfortunately we are left with Gomer Pyle for the next two years.

I also voted for Bush Sr. and Reagan so please don't accuse me of being some idealogue.

Let's face it Bush is an embarassment and is not actually making any decisions. He is the PR person.

boston70 said...

Also, I haven't been on this site recently because of the recent boob thing which I found a complete turnoff.
But come on. What is up with going off on Clinton and his weight?
He had open heart surgery for recently.
Do you feel superior now that you belittled him for what you perceive as his getting fatter.
Sad commentary, really.

Alan said...

And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden.

The only time Republicans noted they heard he was obsessed with OBL was accompanied with incredulous laughter. That line originated from within his own administration.

DRJ said...

I still think President Clinton planned what he did to appeal to people like Boston70 and to help Hillary reinforce her bona fides with the extreme left. Bill's comments let Hillary plausibly deny she's anti-war while at the same time signalling (via her surrogate, Bill) that she's still part of the LLL.

amba said...

Now BOTH Clintons remind somebody of Nixon. Isn't it ironic!

boston70 said...

drj
I am not apart of the extreme left, sorry to dissapoint you.
If I was I would let you know.
I have voted for both republicans and democrats during my time and vote for the actual person not the party.

I also travel quite a bit in my job (far east and Europe) and is fascinating to see what has happened to the image of America throughout the rest of the world.

I realize this doesn't matter to any of you on here, but unfortunately, as we can see, we do need some allies in the world.

I think part of the reason many of the radical right wing, drj included, hate Clinton is because he is thought of a rock star throughout the rest of the world.

When Bush retires he will be a rock star at Focus on the Family, James Dobson rallies, Bob Jones University, Liberty University and Jesus Camps.

Speaking of Jesus Camp, you should all go see it. It has been released on the coasts already which means it will hit Jesusland by Christmas. It is a fascinating movie.

One last question how come all of the blue states have the cool cities and the red states have all the lame cities? Will take NYC, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Madison (yes Madison), LA, Portland and Burlington.

You can keep Tulsa, Topeka, Nashville, Pensacola, Colombia, Dallas, Jackson, Birmingham and Ft. Wayne, Akron and the entire state of South Dakota.

Ann Althouse said...

Boston70: I've addressed that issue upthread, so I don't appreciate your not taking account of what I've already said on the subject. You seem like someone who drops by to spout off, not to participate in a conversation. Here's what I wrote:'

Ann Althouse said...Barley said: "Was it really necessary to knock President Clinton's appearance?"

The discussion of his appearance is part of the analysis of his behavior and his emotional state. Not realizing his pants were hiked up showing bare leg was quite telling, in my opinion. The fact that he's grown fat also means something. I'm certainly not going to let the prudes and scolds stop me from talking about how things look. I spent all last week standing my ground on exactly that and I'm sure as hell not going to back down now. How people dress, the expressions on their face, the stance they adopt when they are in a particular situation -- all these things have meaning, and I intend to write about it and strongly defend my decision to write about it.


Address that specifically or you are to be viewed as a rude intruder and you can just go back and bitch about me wherever people are having a good old time lying about me and making crap up.

Freeman Hunt said...

Chris Wallace has never asked anyone in the Bush admin. why they didn't get Bin Laden before 9/11.

Could you link to the Chris Wallace interviews that you're comparing Clinton's to?

amba said...

And I think Shanna has Bubba's number.

amba said...

I have to post once more just to record the new verification word.

Clinton on Fox News Sunday --

wuddxcyo!

Shanna said...

the conversatives [on Fox] tend to be good looking and hold court
You think Hannity and O'Reilly are "good looking"? Really?

Oh, Boston...
One last question how come all of the blue states have the cool cities and the red states have all the lame cities?
Ah, another Dem making fun of flyover country. That never gets old. Let me know how that works out strategy wise come 08.

Troy said...

I agree with Shanna Boston -- ripping on red cities and spouting "Jesusland" -- but you're not an idealogue.

And I have to finally agree with Libs and the Clintons -- MoveOn -- if only they could get over themselves.

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Hogue said...

While he was President I sometimes would see him and think he was a small man in a big job.

Watching him trying to defend his record that vigorously and to that extent with so much anger left me with that same sense.

Ross said...

Am I surprised to see a drug burnout behave this way? No.

Shanna said...

And I think Shanna has Bubba's number.

Heh. I grew up in Arkansas so he was my governor for my whole life, before he became my president. I wish they would retire into obscurity but that is apparently never going to happen.

nicky said...

I love it when folks like Boston 70 feel compelled to add, "I also travel quite a bit in my job (far east and Europe) and is fascinating to see what has happened to the image of America throughout the rest of the world." Ahh yes the Far East where Bush's speech in Kyoto last year is being read throughout China and has given millions hope that the next time they take a chance for liberty they'll be supported. Where dissidents in North Korea are once again believing that the United States will stand with them instead of sending in Carter and Albright to appease the regime that has the caused the death of millions of their neighbors and family. Where the elections next year in South Korea will likely end the long rule of a far left government that is worse than Chamberlain, after all Chamberlain stopped appeasing as those killed by Hitler's regime climbed into the millions, whereas South Korea has done just the opposite: giving more money as the genocide increased, famously 500 million for a handshake from the Dear Leader- a photo-op at the airport a la Albright. The Far East where during the Clinton years the Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Mondale, on the record said he wasn't sure if America would defend just a few islands of Japanese territory if China attacked them, this causing the whole structure of the U.S.-Japan strategic alliance to be called into question and emboldened China as it was sent mixed messages. (Bush, of course, fixed this, as well as strengthening that alliance and linking it to Taiwan.) On a side note that is why Mondale retired from his post so abruptly. I could go on. But you're right Boston 70. America's image has changed around the world. For the better. I'm sure it is hard to understand this when travelling abroad. I mean you stay at hotels with people who all went to the same universities and were taught by professors all reading off the same page, you and all your foreign contacts read the same books translated into each others languages, get the news from the same pyramid of information (NYT, Guardian, etc..). "Bush has squandered the world's love and affection, Bush has driven away America's allies like France, Russia and China, the whole world hates America because of Bush and I hate Bush because of this, and I know, I really, really know, because I travel and meet real live foreigners" refrain is such a crock. Short version: my head is stuck in the same sand wherever I go and wherever I am. Can't see the wheat from the chaff. Though I do love lauding my ignorance over the heads of those I consider ignorant.

Sincerely,
A foreigner from the Far East (I can have hundreds of folks, friends of mine, send similar thoughts to you from Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East etc.. I travel too.)

Barley said...

Althouse said..."Not realizing his pants were hiked up showing bare leg was quite telling, in my opinion. The fact that he's grown fat also means something. I'm certainly not going to let the prudes and scolds stop me from talking about how things look. I spent all last week standing my ground on exactly that and I'm sure as hell not going to back down now."

First: Not realizing his pants were hiked up, showing leg was very telling...It tells us that he needs a new taylor.

Second: The fact that he as grown fat also means something...that he still eats at McDonald's.

My point was that if you saw pictures of Pres. Clinton after surgery he looked like hell. I'm not a prude by any means, I just thought that there was much more interesting elements in the interview besides his weight and fashion. For example, the Presidents willingness to poke and prod interviewers with those really long and weird fingers.

Also, I totally support and enjoy your blog. Keep writing because it's makes getting through the day easier.

paul a'barge said...

Downtownlad spews:saying nothing for 10 minutes. Worked for Bush, and then wanks:Bush was a lowly drunk and now he's part of the Christian cult.

Downtownlad is quite the fixture at house Althouse.

Too bad, so sad Downtownlad. We have those pesky little annoying things like historical facts such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the security of Israel.

It must be hard to swallow, what with all that liberal bile lurching up in your esophagus all the time.

Paddy O. said...

"One last question how come all of the blue states have the cool cities and the red states have all the lame cities?"

Plus, it's soo not true. Vegas is a cool city. Nevada went red.

And what would Spring Break be if not for red state cities?

The list can get pretty big really.

Indeed besides San Fran, Chicago, and New York what cool cities do blue states have?

It's the sort of comment that sounds biting and insulting on the surface but a moment of thought makes it rather silly really.

Simon Kenton said...

Nicky -

Was having dinner with my California colleagues, one of whom had been traveling in Europe and said gravely that 'the Germans' (this turned out to be based on a dinner with his wife's relatives) were 'quite concerned about Bush.'

I said, "That's rich. The people who brought us lampshades made from human skin are concerned about George Bush helping 8 million Iraqis get their fingers turned purple."

Another of my colleagues said, "Lampshades made from human skin? Don't be gross."

So there we have it. You can base not just a foreign policy, but an entire world view, on not being gross.

Fenrisulven said...

I just thought that there was much more interesting elements in the interview besides his weight and fashion

The he was ungainly, pants hiked up, and jabbing his finger into Wallace is an interesting element - he lost his bearing. Now, why would someone smooth as Clinton lose his self-control?

TimH said...

What thoroughly unpleasant, frivolous, cynical, dishonest and infantile people you are - particularly Ann Althouse. Are you really unable to take anything seriously? Do you really suppose that truth is a mere function of political orientation? Why can you not simply address what Clinton said in an honest way? I don't like indulging in petty psychological analysis, but your 'crazed' reaction (to use a Fox News smear) suggests that by telling a few home-truths, Clinton has struck a few prejudiced little nerves.Although I am not American, there is much that I admire about America, but if you are examples of what American citizens are coming to, then I fear for your nation. You seem to suppose you are conservatives, but you clearly have no respect whatsover for your own polity.

Fenrisulven said...

It's the sort of comment that sounds biting and insulting on the surface but a moment of thought makes it rather silly really.

Especially when you look at 04 results by county. I'm all for Boston retreating to the Blue "states". LOL.

He's an obvious provocateur. Probably part of the new DU/Kos Direct Action group.

Fenrisulven said...

TimH: What thoroughly unpleasant, frivolous, cynical, dishonest and infantile people you are - particularly Ann Althouse.

LOL. I'm guessing someone refuted Tim with facts and logic. His is the typcial response of a cornered weasel.

nicky said...

Simon,

Well done! And well related here (briefly too, a good lesson for me to learn). I'm always surprised at how those who are so quick to point out the "anti-Americanism" that Bush has engendered are so dense as to the anti-Americanism their side has created and continues to create. Someone like Kerry is loved by the communist party in Vietnam and its supporters but the hatred of him by Vietnamese in America and those in Vietnam who are still waiting for liberty is practically immeasurable. Is any President more hated in North Korea than Clinton? No. But those in the gulags get little air time on CNN. Some sophisticate takes a walk in Tokyo and sees three hundred of the usual suspects protesting HitlerMcChimpBush and voila--their reality based worldview is affirmed and one more story is added to the dinner table repertoire. Too bad they aren't able to understand the thoughts (alas, often subtly gray and not the stuff for polls) of the tens of thousands of folks walking past the protestors. I myself respect America, but I'm also very anti-American. When America isn't getting condemned by the Chavezs and the Mullahs of this world, when American leaders value more the applause at Davos than the cries for help from dissidents, when allies is a watered down word that has no relationship to responsibilites, when words are more important than deeds, then I and many of my friends, indeed much of the world that Boston 70 can't see through the wall of noise his beautiful Blue State cities creates, sincerely hates America. But this anti-Americanism, which is by far more important than the other kind, passes by unseen and unknown--doesn't fit the meme.

Clyde said...

Pretty much everything has already been said, but I found it interesting that Clinton was going off on the "right-wing neocons" who didn't want to go after bin Laden prior to 9/11.

What Clinton doesn't get is that there WERE NO NEOCONS prior to 9/11, because 9/11 CREATED the neocons! I know, because I'm one myself. My politics prior to 9/11 were significantly different. I didn't much care for what Clinton did that brought discredit upon the Presidency, but I wasn't one of the "right-wingers" who was obsessed with him. I don't fit the left's caricature of neocons, since I'm not a Bible-thumper or gay-basher. I'm pretty much a libertarian, live-and-let-live kind of person, but if you attack my country, I'm a Jacksonian hawk, which is why I voted for Bush the second time but not the first.

And it's why I won't be voting for ANY Democrats unless and until their party comes to its senses, which I don't expect to happen anytime soon.

Scott said...

You were totally wrong about your impression of this interview.

At least the fatness portion. I thought he looked good.

Jim C. said...

Chris said... yeah it's not wrong to ask, but there seems to be a clinton-is-the-problem thing going on lately, and it's sort of a cop-out. it was clear in your first post, when you said the left avoids the "why didn't YOU do more" question, when it really doesn't.

Well, no. The left and the media have been in a Bush-is-the-problem mode for years, so this is just the beginning of restoring balance.

The point is, as has been said, that everyone made mistakes. However, Clinton did have 6+ years to get OBL. Bush only had 8 months.

If Clinton had gotten OBL and avoided 9/11, he would not have gotten a tremendous amount of credit. Prevention is dull and undramatic. For one thing there's no way to absolutely prove dire consequences would have happened if actions x,y,z had not been taken. But that's the way things work.

Truly said...

I'm shocked no one else saw this:

"...uh-oh, I might have exposed myself out there."

One would think he'd wised up about THAT, at least.

yashu said...

Haven't seen the interview, so can't comment on it specifically, but...

I think of Clinton as a very crafty politician, especially in his use of apparently 'emotional' ('unguarded', 'authentic') public acting. It's possible this is a misstep, or a revealing moment of defensiveness/touchiness, or genuine outraged reaction, but... I think it's plausibly much more strategic, planned, reasoned than that. Consider that this occurs just on the heels of 2 other recent Clinton moments: the 9/11 movie brouhaha (where he rather implausibly accused ABC/Disney & scriptwriters of being part of the 'vast right wing conspiracy'), and his meeting with the liberal bloggers (and the somewhat hysterical aftereffects manifest in the reaction to Ann's passing observations).

What's struck me most, in the context of these recent events, is just how extremely *protective* of Clinton liberals (e.g. blogs & blog commenters) have become. This isn't surprising, and it's not a negative thing per se: cf. the protectiveness of Bush on the right, especially when he's being assailed (unfairly & dishonestly, in their view) by the media. The comparison is illuminating, of course, because Bush does very little public self-defending against his harshest critics (and never complains of being 'victimized' by the media)-- though of course commenters on the right do that for him. Clinton, with these recent actions, is (I think) trying to tap into a similar dynamic-- e.g. trying to tap into the (surprising-- and surprisingly mainstream) surge of protectiveness & feeling for him during the impeachment saga. (And lest we forget, that was the origin of moveon.org, wasn't it.)

He accomplishes several things-- and remember, this is all in the context of Hilary's political problems. Of course he taps into the deep reserves of liberal Bush-hate-- feelings (IMO largely delusional) of victimization, paranoia, injustice, fear & loathing of the 'vast right wing conspiracy'. A lot of these feelings are actually grounded in the impeachment days (kindling for the later intensity of Bush-hate), but those feelings had become disconnected from the Clintons: because of Hilary's position on the war ("Bush's war"), she lost the sympathy & loyalty of the left, the grassroots, the base. The surest way to rally such a thing: to tap into their feelings of being unfairly victimized by the 'vast right wing conspiracy' (Fox Network is a perfect stand-in for that). Only Bill, not Hilary, can do this: he can do this for her. He has rallied the left & liberals back to feeling protective of & loyal to the Clintons.

(For this base, spotlight on 9/11, Dem weakness on nat. security, etc., is irrelevant.) By attacking FOX, ABC, etc., by playing up-- implausibly, ridiculously-- the right-wingness of the media, he justifies liberal delusions & borrows from the right's playbook, blunts the force of the right's critique of MSM ideological bias, discredits criticism by discrediting the source of criticism (cf. the attacks on the reputation of 'those women')-- e.g. smearing them for 'smearing' him (classic projection).

So Clinton shores up the left for Hilary. But does this hurt him/her with the mainstream/center right (or the average Fox watcher)-- especially on national security issues? Well: he is trying to offer a 'defense' of sorts (and demonstrating 'passion' on the issue-- even if it's self-serving...)... but even if the spotlight is unflattering, Hilary can herself, independently, demonstrate her nat. security bona fides (e.g. her position on an 'unpopular' war). They can triangulate between them. As Clinton knows, you can fudge on substance as long as you can harness emotion-- disappoint the left, as long you can rally their loyalty (e.g. by scapegoating an enemy: the evil right-wingers, in this instance, paradigmatically, FOX). And the best way to rally the mainstream (apart from & despite substance) is to be blessed by the excesses of your enemies. Clinton learned that lesson (I think he was probably as surprised as anyone that he was able to maintain such wide support throughout the Jones/Lewinsky/impeachment saga), he can see it play out with Bush... maybe he thinks reminding people of his 'victimization' by the 'vast right wing conspiracy' can help with the mainstream too-- but (if so) I think here he's badly miscalculating. In serious times, it's... unserious, self-centered, & a non sequitur. The country has changed, the issues have changed, the left & the right (& the views of the center) have changed. Certainly, it's no longer the right manifesting rabid excess... and I don't think you can fool most people into thinking otherwise.

But anyway, I do think it's likely that his latest public acts are a kind of strategic gamble, specifically directed at the left (rallying it for Hilary, who can then do what she needs to do to convince the center)-- (and the left is eating it up aren't they, he's playing them like a piano)--- more likely than that this last outburst was an 'accident' (esp. when the questioning was *so* to be expected-- he himself practically *asked* for it, in making such a big deal of the 9/11 movie).

Sorry for the long ramble!

Ann Althouse said...

Truly: I'm shocked no one's claimed credit for spotting the allusion.

vnjagvet said...

timh is a driveby jerk who has no standing to criticize Ann or anyone else who shares her views.

What a coward.

Seven Machos said...

I guess I have to post this from time to time:

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/europe/9911/19/greece.clinton.02/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/529061.stm

Seven Machos said...

WHAT CLYDE SAID!

I don't fit the left's caricature of neocons, since I'm not a Bible-thumper or gay-basher. I'm pretty much a libertarian, live-and-let-live kind of person, but if you attack my country, I'm a Jacksonian hawk...

Let's you and me start a political party.

sharinlite said...

As a moderate traditionalist and an atheist, I wish posters would stop making allusions to "those right wing commenters". I read and watch and then try to make up my own mind.

I personally thought Clinton was rude, came prepared to do exactly what he did. He is what he is.

fletcher said...

Let's not forget that Clinton denied the Bush transition team the keys to the planned office space, and any of the inter-administrative support normally ramping up the day after the election, for almost 50 days (!).

Clinton took away some of the most important opportunities for a smooth transition, and delayed critical briefings specifically about Bin Laden. This delay was among the reasons Bush left in place the Clinton CIA and the Clinton FBI leadership, which failed the nation so dramatically.

You can't look at 9/11 fully without seeing the impact of the Democrats quest to change the outcome of the election.

Kirk Parker said...

vnjagvet said...

"This performance was all about him. I wonder if that is how history will view his Presidency."

Well, DUH!!!

:-)


Yashu,

Talking about the protectiveness of Clinton's supporters makes it all sound like just so much codependency.

vnjagvet said...

Yeah, Kirk.

DUHHHHHH.

But is that the way the "historians" will see it?

I think so, but with all the help from the left (witness the comments here), who knows.

The BubFather said...

I thought one of the more interesting things was to hear how Clinton's speech seemed a bit slurred during his tirade. Its a bit unusual to hear an ex-President "go off" on someone, but his diction seemed to slip during it.

Also, that finger pointing stuff smacked of Monica "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" which suggested he might do that when he lies.

DRJ said...

We may never know what Bill Clinton hoped to accomplish in this interview (defend his Presidency, express righteous indignation, pacify the liberal base?) but he did an excellent job reminding 9/11 voters that Democrats can't be trusted on national security issues.

Ed said...

Bush was a lowly drunk and now he's part of the Christian cult.

Every President the USA has ever had has been a Christian.

Every. Single. One.

So why is it that the present President's Christianity is something to be feared, but Jimmy Carter's wasn't? What makes Bush's Christianity any different from FDR's?

Can anyone name even a single policy that has come out of the White House since 2000 that can in any way be construed as establishing a theocracy in the USA?

Why is it that every President ends all major speeches with the words "God Bless America"... but when Bush does the same thing as all of his predecessors it is somehow something sinister?

Jay said...

It is not credible that a sophisticated pol like Bill would enter an interview like this unprepared. He knew what would be asked and had prepared an attitude and and answer. I would be surprised if he hadn't rehearsed his performance. All major pols with a lick of sense anticipate the questions and prepare their answers in prep sessions with their advisors and media people. There is nothing spontaneous about it. It was an opportunity to get his message across and he took it. He would have been a fool had he not.

yashu said...

NB: The latest dispatch from the DNC (cited in The Corner, sorry don't know how to do the HTML stuff) supports my suspicions of a savvy political rationale behind Clinton's recent outburst(s)-- note especially the emphasis on the "right-wing propaganda machine" (oh the irony: "twist[ing] history" and "recast[ing] the truth"-- quite a thowback for Clintonian rhetoric, back to the 90's "vast right-wing conspiracy"). A perfect marriage... well, a Clintonian attempt at a perfect marriage... between liberal loathing of the "right-wing propaganda machine" (Clinton as the (re)new(ed) victim, like in the good old impeachment days-- when this pose was actually, if arguably, more justified-- custom-made to rally the liberal troops) and the necessary gesture to political (centrist) concerns about national security/war on terror. Also: by recasting himself (once again) as outraged victim/hero, against the evil right-wing conspiracy, he's providing the left, at least symbolically, with something they've lacked (psychologically *and* politically) for quite a long time: something/someone to *defend* (Clinton(s)) rather than merely something/someone to *attack* (Bush). That is not a small thing (if it works-- I'm skeptical: Bush is in the eye of the storm; Clinton is history; making it "all about him" again just seems self-centered, vain, distracting, superficial). In a way-- note the rhetoric-- he's recasting himself as a kind of Bush-like figure (re, heh, the hostle 'right-wing' MSM)!!! (He's been paying attention to what's worked for the Republicans.) If transferrable to Hilary (I'm skeptical of the attempt), quite the advantage over other (merely negative, critical, anti-Bush) Democratic contenders. Here's the DNC message:

"In an interview with Fox News televised this morning, President Bill Clinton fought back against the right-wing misinformation and smear campaign and stood up for the truth. President Clinton set the facts straight on his administration's record fighting the war on terror. He also stood up against the Fox News' right-wing bullying and propaganda machine, pointing out the lack of tough questions being posed to the current administration. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement thanking President Clinton for standing up to right-wing propaganda and the need for all Democrats to stand up and tell the truth:

"President Clinton did exactly what Democrats need to do in this election. Democrats need to stand up to the right-wing propaganda machine and tell the truth. Washington Republicans' attempts to twist history and recast the truth do not help us win the war on terror or bring us closer to capturing Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11th attacks. President Clinton stood up to the misleading tactics of the right-wing propaganda machine. As the National Intelligence Estimate that was reported on today showed, the Iraq War and the Bush Administration's failed policies have hurt our ability to win the war on terror. As President Clinton said, Democrats stand for policies that are both tough and smart and we remain committed to winning the war on terror."

DRJ said...

Yashu,

The part that caught my eye/ear was Clinton's insistence that he has been victimized by right-wingers. It was the reincarnation of Hillary's "vast right-wing conspiracy" defense of Bill during the Monica Affair. I think they have reversed roles: Bill plays the aggrieved party, leaving Hillary to rise above it all and act in a statesmanlike (e.g., Presidential) manner.

Birkel said...

Interestingly, Chris Wallace did ask SecDef Don Rumsfeld why he hadn't done more pre 9-11 to capture or kill OBL.

To all who don't know this fact, including former President Clinton, may I suggest purchasing a subscription to Google?

Tim said...

"Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement thanking President Clinton for standing up to right-wing propaganda and the need for all Democrats to stand up and tell the truth:

"President Clinton did exactly what Democrats need to do in this election. Democrats need to stand up to the right-wing propaganda machine and tell the truth. Washington Republicans' attempts to twist history and recast the truth do not help us win the war on terror or bring us closer to capturing Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11th attacks. President Clinton stood up to the misleading tactics of the right-wing propaganda machine. As the National Intelligence Estimate that was reported on today showed, the Iraq War and the Bush Administration's failed policies have hurt our ability to win the war on terror. As President Clinton said, Democrats stand for policies that are both tough and smart and we remain committed to winning the war on terror."


Really? What policies?

Anyone?

Anyone?

It will be a great day for America when the Democrats are more concerned about defending the nation and winning its wars than in winning elections. Then they might actually win elections. But not until then.

And why does Dean have a problem with killing, as in " bring us closer to killing Osama bin Laden..."?

buck turgidson said...

Every time I read comments on Ann's blog, it reminds me why I do it so rarely. What is it about Clinton doing anything makes this bunch go batshit crazy?

OoO! He didn't do enough to get bin Laden! Ooo! He didn't do enough to get al Qaeda! AAAA! He's too fat! Oh, no! He got angry at a Fox News stooge!!!

C'mon! Don't you, people, remember President Jack-Ass that you all voted for? What had he done prior to 9-11? Come to think of it, what has he done to stop al Qaeda SINCE 9-11? Hire Afghani and Pakistani opium traders to track them down?

Now, Zach wrote, "But I don't think he thought of Al Quaeda as a target of the same magnitude, or combating Al Quaeda as a goal worth sacrificing other things to achieve."

Well, for one, Al Qaeda was not a target at all. It was not even an organization that anyone cared about. Most of the minor terrorist cells are usually associated with their leaders--a leader gets knocked off and the cell dissolves. So Clinton et al. targeted the important target--bin Laden and other known criminals around him. It makes sense. You can't target a loose organization. But al Qaeda as we now come to believe in did not form until after it was assigned all the responsibility for 9-11. A bunch of other America haters popped up from their muck to claim "ME TOO!" and a membership in al Qaeda.

It's convenient and reassuring to believe that there is a single organization out there that is the enemy--kind of like SPECTOR of James Bond fame. But the real world does not work that way.

Too Many Jims said...

"Interestingly, Chris Wallace did ask SecDef Don Rumsfeld why he hadn't done more pre 9-11 to capture or kill OBL."

I did google but it was not self-evident which interview you were referring to. Can you provide a link?

Seven Machos said...

Buck Turgidson's post is such a precise example of the inane, policy-less, ranting drivel produced by the left en masse today that it ought to be put in a museum.

Buck: President Clinton did something newsworthy. Everyone is talking about it.

Enjoy your time in the political wilderness.

Revenant said...

Every President the USA has ever had has been a Christian. Every. Single. One.

Well, Taft certainly wasn't -- he was a Unitarian who publically denied the divinity of Christ. Several other presidents (Fillmore and JQ Adams) were also Unitarians, and a number of others were Deists (Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington). The latter two did belong to churches, but that seems to have been a matter of political and social convenience -- Washington didn't take communion, and the pastor of his church later described Washington as a Deist, not a Christian.

Revenant said...

One last question how come all of the blue states have the cool cities and the red states have all the lame cities?

Cool cities in red states: Miami, New Orleans, and Las Vegas

Lame cities in blue states: Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Jersey. Ok, the last one's not a city, but I'm counting it anyway because the northern half of it is a sleazy suburb of New York.

Gregor Samsa said...

Nonpartisanly speaking, Clinton looked good, sounded good and was on the offensive.

Face it kids, Clinton owns you and will always be your daddy. Why not go back to attacking Fonda, McGovern, hippies, single moms, Kerry, Carter or Dukakis - so much easier - so much more fun - so much less painful.

But the Clinton cornballer is there - you keep on touching it - you keep on getting burned - so mesmerizing it is....Buzqwak!

look she has tits said...

I was offended by the way Clinton dressed. Did you see how he thrust his breasts out in front of Chris Wallace.

That's just sick.

mt

OhioAnne said...

Gregor Samsa said...
Nonpartisanly speaking .....

Face it kids, Clinton owns you and will always be your daddy.


Ummmm .... is that the same Clinton whose sitting VP couldn't get elected despite how 'wonderous' the Clinton presidency claimed to be?

If Clinton didn't want people to talk about him, he wouldn't have gone on a national Sunday talk show. If he didn't want A LOT of people to talk about it, he would have done the interview in a more sedate manner.

Quit complaining - you're spoiling his fun.

John Henry said...

"...as he mused about his new life of philanthropy."

His new life of philanthropy? How much of his own money has he given away?

A better phrasing would have been "...his new life of encouraging other people's philanthropy."

It is just so "same-o, same-o". He wants to spend other people's money and get the credit for doing good himself. It is a shame that Wallace did not ask how much of his own monies Clinton is putting into the CGI.

John Henry

robey said...

Bill Clinton grants his first ever interview on Fox...in the run-up to the 2006 elections...and weeks after 'The Path to 9/11' controversy...and gives angry rebuttal when asked about his responsibility for failing to prevent 9/11. Coincidence? No way. He fully expected to be asked some sort of 9/11 question and planned this response. That Clinton was so genuinely emotional and angry in doing so is remarkable nonetheless.

Gator said...

Yes, Clinton should have done more to put OBL away, but so should Bush.

It is a national disgrace that five years after the attack on the WTC and the Pentagon, he has still not been brought to justice.

Fenrisulven said...

I did google but it was not self-evident which interview you were referring to. Can you provide a link?

Via Powerline

rhodeymark1 said...

Every time I read comments on Ann's blog, it reminds me why I do it so rarely
I would suggest not rarely enough, Turgidprose, but it's Ann's house, not mine. Your incredibly tortured rendering (gotta love those words) of history smacks of willful denial. Perhaps a little waterboarding to refresh your memory of Al-Qaeda pre-9/11?
What I really want to comment on is the DNC press release. What a bunch of pansies...I swear their idea of talking tough is running to tell the teacher.

Fenrisulven said...

buck turgidson: Every time I read comments on Ann's blog, it reminds me why I do it so rarely

Please stop reading comments here; return to your echo chamber at DU/Kos/Huff. I need you fat and stupid for November.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I only watched my tape last night. Sorry to be late to the party. I was "moving my bones". I mean making my bones.

I thought he should've learned the Preparation H lesson by now: That ointment under the eyes removes puffiness....his eyes sure looked puffy.

He's starting to look old insofar as his bulbous nose and ears are outpacing his face.

I didn't think he looked too fat.

I second the idea that his fingers are weirdly long.

I think he was spoiling for a fight and that Wallace was appropriately deferential [i.e., not baiting him].

Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, what others think of me, me, me, me, me...

He's fascinating to watch but I'm so glad he ain't POTUS.

wv: risko

Bloggerhead said...

Gotta agree with you, Ann, that the King has put on a little weight and it does make him look a little frumpy. But you have to admit that he has still has that master tan working for him, and the stylish doo. It makes me wonder how you would've interpret his coming on Fox pale and stringy-haired. Oh, wait...sorry.

The Jerk said...

If wingnuts hated Al Quaeda as much as they hate Bill Clinton the war on terror would have been won long ago.

Fenrisulven said...

And yet the first Al Queda -Clinton metaphor comes from the Left.

And if you think "hate" has any place in prosecuting the war on terror, you're out of your depth. But please keep reminding us why the Left is not qualified to lead this war.

zak822 said...

Interesting that so many people here don't seem to care that bin Laden escaped justice on Bush's watch.

And continues to live large, on Bush's watch.

They want to hold President Clinton
accountable for the failures of their Bush.

Revenant said...

Face it kids, Clinton owns you and will always be your daddy. Why not go back to attacking Fonda, McGovern, hippies, single moms, Kerry, Carter or Dukakis - so much easier - so much more fun - so much less painful.

I've seen a lot of comments like the above -- breathless rants about how this interview proves the conservative-dominating awesomeness of Bill Clinton. I guess you have to have drunk the leftie Kool-Aid to see it.

It does, however, provide further evidence for my hypothesis that Clinton went on Fox specifically in the hopes of experiencing something he could spin as "fighting back against Republican attacks." After all, a lot of lefties hated Clinton while he was President, and only came to support him once he was attacked from the right. Clinton's support, and that of his wife, for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq re-alienated many on the left.

But anyone who "stands up" to Fox News automatically earns the Leftie Medal of Honor -- and past misdeeds, however recent, are immediately forgotten. Pretty clever, really -- swing voters probably won't care about the interview (since outside of the fever swamps of Republican and Democratic partisanship nobody actually blames either President for 9/11), and the lefties Clinton has alienated will get all moist and excited about his "owning" of conservatives.

The Jerk said...

Fenrisulven,

Please make some attempt to write coherently. If all you have are talking points, at least make sure they're well-stated.

John in Nashville said...

The clips of the interview I have seen, juxtaposed with his critics' (accurate) labeling of Bill Clinton as a horndog, call to mind President Lincoln's response to those who complained that General Grant was a drunk: "If that's so, can you find out what brand of whiskey he drinks so that I can send some to my other generals?"

Maybe Monica Lewinsky could be persuaded to go to the White House to bring her famous thong out of retirement and give the current Cheerleader-in-chief a few blowjobs. (Maybe she could even be persuaded to swallow this time.)

Pinko Punko said...

My fave is he's damned if he didn't, damned if he did. They said they were gonna talk about one thing, they asked about another. He fights back= he's defensive. He passes on the question=he's avoiding it. He doesn't go on the show=he's ducking the pressure. He goes on the show=it's part of some masterplan. He does philanthropy=he has another agenda. He doesn't do philanthropy=he is useless, and only uses his power for evil.

Thank you, I'll be hear all week!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

zak 822: You say UBL is living large. It's widely reported that if he's alive, he's in some mountainous, difficult terrain between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Don't you mean living at large?

hossman said...

All the Republicans can offer the American people now is that they supposedly do a better job of keeping us safe from the evildoers out there, always have and always will.

That's what the concerted push to blame Clinton for the 9/11 attacks have all been about.

Any facts to the contrary (like how Bush's administration had no top level meetings on Bin Ladin until after 9/11, that Bush ignored the PDB saying Bin Ladin was determined to attack the US, that the optional, unrelated-to-9/11 war in Iraq actually encourages more terrorism, etc... etc... etc...) shakes the foundations of that narrative, and creates panic in blogs like this one.

As for the carping about how Democrats don't say how they would do things differently... it's like the drunk driver who's steered the car into a ditch full of shit complaining that the sober passenger doesn't have a plan to levitate, instantly, back onto the highway.

The Jerk said...

Pinko,

It's because he's evil evil evil. If Clinton rescued a little girl from a burning building, righty wackos would say he must have molested her and set the fire as part of the cover up.

Garage Mahal said...

Isn't it disturbing to picture Clinton...

He's gotten quite fat, and his suits -- which he keeps buttoned...

He's sitting with his feet apart and planted on the floor, and the pantlegs get hiked way up so that a wide band of white leg shows above each sock.


No, what was disturbing reading that disgusting play-by-play.

YUCK

And Clinton is the pervert?

Revenant said...

My fave is he's damned if he didn't, damned if he did.

If that's the case, he was an idiot to go on the show in the first place.

He knew going in that half the show was going to be devoted to things other than his charity work. If he thought there was no way he could handle that, he shouldn't have showed up.

Ann Althouse said...

Garage Mahal: I love your screen name, but really, you're such a damned prude. The visual world is important and how people present themselves is part of their message. Wearing a too-tight suit and sitting splayed about without regard to how your clothing is situated means something -- especially if you are doing an important interview that millions will see. I am utterly committed to writing about such things. I'll bet if I humorously described how Bush walks, gestures, and grimaces, you wouldn't have a problem.

Garage Mahal said...

Ann,

Thanks for letting me criticize you on your blog.

More importantly of course, after all this; do you think this will give Bush a "bounce" ?

Geo- said...

Even caught off guard, Clinton was an effective messenger refuting much of the administration's lintany of disinformation that is regularly propagated unchallenged on many TV shows. As well, he showed up an unprepared Chris Wallace on his own turf. Chris Wallace knows that he has never asked a Bush adminstration official "that" question and Clinton was right not to accept the meager explanation that emailers wanted it asked. Wallace is the interviewer - the decider - and it is his job to ask the appropriate questions at the appropriate time. When Clinton has just presided over the committment of 7 billion dollars for global warming initiatives and the 4th question 2 minutes into the interview is completely political and quite frankly agravating - well, how thinly veilled is that? If Wallace were a better interviewer he would have phrased it more intelligently to prevent Clinton from directly refuting his assertations -- lucky for Clinton he is not a good interviewer. Had Clinton allowed this to pass it would have been a failure on his part. He stuck to it and got to points that needed to be addressed as Wallace tried to slink away from the topic that he tried to wrap up in some sound byte questions. Wallace clearly made mis-statements in his questioning, half-heartedly implying that at some point he is sure he had asked "that" question or others like to someone in the administration (he apparently couldn't remember exactly who), and he should be embarrassed for his lack of fortitude. Instead of ending the interview with "thanks for a most unusual interview", maybe he should have said "Thank you. May I have another?"

Political discourse should be civil and the use of physical intimidation is not acceptable. However its hard to blame Clinton for being very angry that not only was the interviewer asking a question he seems to be unwilling to ask of others and asking it in a slanted manner he was at the same time squandering the opportunity to highlight, a like Clinton or not, pretty amazing feat in addressing some of the most important issues of our day.

Anonymous said...

That's it? No really, that's it? That's ALL that you can come up with...is to deride his physical appearance! That is so so pathetic, but thank you for making me laugh today.

Ti-Guy said...

How dull. OfWaterPic? Try harder, would you?

Wayne said...

Talk about nitpicking. In a typical Fox manner, you've shifted the discourse just enough to avoid the meat of the matter, and instead resort to lame fat jokes. Ug. Keep it up, Fox might pick you up one day as a "fair and balanced" operative. Meanwhile, all of Madison, half of America, and the entire world laugh at your nonsense.

ZackO said...

Its fun seeing a politician once he's been freed from the "I need to get reelected" mindset. Clinton has betrayed something about himself in this interview: He's reaffirmed to a country that continues to love him (despite the Lewinsky scandal) that he has passion and he has guts. Now, he had an answer for this question, and he gave it, and he also said something that every American should hear.

News has disintegrated into two groups- obnoxious personalities or lackeys that want to make a "hit job" as Clinton said. Wallace thought he had a great moment to slay that Dragon, but do you really think he got him? I think he set himself up to be embarrassed, and what's worse, to embarrass every neo-con who’s failed this country. A terrible question, in awful taste, and then Wallace had the nerve to try to change the subject without letting Clinton answer. It was almost like asking such a right-wing question in front of all those republican viewers was more important than letting those people hear an answer. I guess that's not too wild an accusation, considering this is Fox News, after all.

Clinton for President in '08... (If you're fooling yourself into thinking that he wouldn't win even if he could run than wake up and get out of your cave a little more)

ZackO said...

Its fun seeing a politician once he's been freed from the "I need to get reelected" mindset. Clinton has betrayed something about himself in this interview: He's reaffirmed to a country that continues to love him (despite the Lewinsky scandal) that he has passion and he has guts. Now, he had an answer for this question, and he gave it, and he also said something that every American should hear.

News has disintegrated into two groups- obnoxious personalities or lackeys that want to make a "hit job" as Clinton said. Wallace thought he had a great moment to slay that Dragon, but do you really think he got him? I think he set himself up to be embarrassed, and what's worse, to embarrass every neo-con who’s failed this country. A terrible question, in awful taste, and then Wallace had the nerve to try to change the subject without letting Clinton answer. It was almost like asking such a right-wing question in front of all those republican viewers was more important than letting those people hear an answer. I guess that's not too wild an accusation, considering this is Fox News, after all.

Clinton for President in '08... (If you're fooling yourself into thinking that he wouldn't win even if he could run than wake up and get out of your cave a little more)

BlackavarFightsBack said...

Telling lies about you are they Ann? Seems like you accuse people of things you do. In this very post in fact. Please expound on your own "Nixoness" or perhaps just tell us what you're wearing. That would tell us a lot right? And what can one say of your defense of your penchant for the, shall we be kind?, overlooked and highly dispositive appearance data you seem so obsessive about lately? Well let's just hope you teach better logic to your students. Here's a tip: Standing by mistakes, and in particular ridiculous mistakes, may show strength of conviction but that doesn't change the fact that you've shown your ass as well.

ZackO said...

Zack said... Its fun seeing a politician once he's been freed from the "I need to get reelected" mindset. Clinton has betrayed something about himself in this interview: He's reaffirmed to a country that continues to love him (despite the Lewinsky scandal) that he has passion and he has guts. Now, he had an answer for this question, and he gave it, and he also said something that every American should hear.

News has disintegrated into two groups- obnoxious personalities or lackeys that want to make a "hit job" as Clinton said. Wallace thought he had a great moment to slay that Dragon, but do you really think he got him? I think he set himself up to be embarrassed, and what's worse, to embarrass every neo-con who’s failed this country. A terrible question, in awful taste, and then Wallace had the nerve to try to change the subject without letting Clinton answer. It was almost like asking such a right-wing question in front of all those republican viewers was more important than letting those people hear an answer. I guess that's not too wild an accusation, considering this is Fox News, after all.

Clinton for President in '08... (If you're fooling yourself into thinking that he wouldn't win even if he could run than wake up and get out of your cave a little more)

Seven Machos said...

Hey Zacko: you can post the same twaddle again and again, but it's never going to be any good.

Revenant said...

By the way, the Volokh Conspiracy has a good post refuting Clinton's claim that Republicans condemned him for going after bin Laden too strongly. In reality they praised him and urged him to do more along those lines.

Clinton for President in '08...

See, that's what I love about the Democratic Party. You're the party of New Ideas. :)

Fenrisulven said...

BlackavarFightsBack: Telling lies about you are they Ann? Seems like you accuse people of things you do. In this very post in fact. Please expound on your own "Nixoness" or perhaps just tell us what you're wearing. That would tell us a lot right?

You really miss the point. If Ann became visibly disheveled over an honest question, it would suggest she had something to hide. Police interrogators notice this "tell" all the time. Clinton's appearance is relevant because it reveals he lost his bearing.

BlackavarFightsBack said...

So Fenrisulven, what you are saying I'm missing here is that Clinton "responding" by being fat and wearing suits that are ill fitting and having no sock garters is a "tell". Is that right? Because otherwise I'll just go ahead and assume you don't know what disheveled means. If you're saying his quasi-paranoid (read aware) statement is an indicator of something then I'd say you are right. It indicates that he even though he likely knew very well that he was going to assert himself that he was carried a way somewhat be emotion. I can't imagine why.

RepubliCult said...

Bush, you miserable scurvy sniveling slacker-in-chief, ya did a heck of a job defending America against the 9/11 attackers, of that you can be forever proud. You never once tried to find OBL, hunt and track him or anyone else in al Qaeda or any other terrorist of any kind anywhere, you repeatedly pronounced the Cole deaths as "stale", you ordered our military to stand down from threatening to attack OBL and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, you had all the intelligence that Clinton had plus at least 50 more intelligence reports warning of the impending attacks all of which you refused to act upon. 3,000 people were alive after Clinton left office and survived 8 months into your malfeasant administration, only to die a horrible brutal death because you refused to protect and defend America. You and your tin foil capped kool-aid chugging apologists have never shown the slightest shred of evidence that you ever did even a single damned thing remotely equivalent to what Clinton did in hunting and shooting at OBL. And as any true hunter knows when tracking prey, if you shoot and miss you keep hunting, finding the prey and shooting again. Clinton kept up the hunt and tried to kill OBL at least 3 times, whereas Bush = none, zero, zilch, null, you never tried even once. Furthermore Clinton is the only president in history to have succeeded in killing members of al Qaeda before 9/11. You refused to even try. You can also blame your papa Bush as the president who allowed the 1993 terrorists onto American soil, they were already here in the USA before Clinton came into office, you can blame him for that failure, you incompetent stumbling drunken neocon-artist fool. You're a big Big man, slacker-Bush, you've spent your entire presidency trying to blame your predecessor for your own abominable failure to defend America. In fact you are not a real president, you are nothing but a presidon't, because you don't know how to do a single damned thing right. W, Hell is Hot, pack your cooler, you are going to need it.