By telling an Iowa audience on Tuesday night that he had opposed the Iraq war “from the beginning,” Bill Clinton committed a double pratfall. Not only did he refocus attention on his wife’s most hazardous issue, Iraq, just as it was receding as the nation’s Topic A, but he also revived unhappy memories of the truth-dodging nadirs of the Clinton White House.Rich thinks Obama would be a more formidable match for the Republican candidate:
Whatever his caveats, Mr. Clinton did not explicitly oppose the Iraq war from the beginning. But Al Gore did unequivocally and loudly in a public speech before the beginning, as did an obscure Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. What if Mrs. Clinton had led an insurrection against the war authorization in the Senate? Might she have helped impede America’s rush into one of the greatest fiascos in our history?
[T]he Republicans have fallen into a trap by continuing to cling to the Hillary-is-inevitable trope. They have not allowed themselves to think the unthinkable — that they might need a Plan B to go up against a candidate who is not she. It’s far from clear that they would remotely know how to construct a Plan B to counter Mr. Obama...
Part of the Republicans’ difficulty in countering Mr. Obama, should they have to, is their own cynical racial politics. For the most part, race has been the dog that hasn’t barked in this campaign despite the (largely) white press’s endless fretting about whether the Illinois senator is too white for black voters and too black for white voters....
An Obama candidacy would force them to engage. Or try to. A matchup between Mr. Obama and Mr. Giuliani, who was forged in the racial crucible of New York’s police brutality nightmares of the 1990s, or between Mr. Obama and Mitt Romney, who was shaped by a religion that didn’t give blacks equal membership until 1978, would be less a clash of races than of centuries.
Oh, yeah, go after Romney because he professes a religion that had a defect that it eradicated 3 decades ago. That will be wonderfully effective and a stunning display of enlightenment. Don't we all want to see how much religious and racial discord the 2 parties can stir up and leverage in their lust for power?
Can someone please ask Obama how he likes Rich's vision?
Maureen Dowd's column is about Obama too. But she's not really promoting him. She's up to something else.