July 20, 2014

"He’s the most seductive character that we’ve seen in American politics in our lifetime. He just has this unbelievably resilient and seductive personality."

Said David Axelrod... about Bill Clinton, to Maureen Dowd, who's examining why Bill Clinton is so terribly popular these days.

Dowd also has this strange pairing of paragraphs:
A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg center poll showed that Clinton was, by a long shot, the most admired president of the last quarter-century. A new YouGov poll finds that among the last eight elected presidents, Clinton is regarded as the most intelligent and W. the least.

(Clinton and W. both should have been more aggressive in catching Osama. But certainly, if Clinton had been president post-9/11, there would have been no phony invasion of Iraq, and Katrina would have elicited more empathy.)
To that parenthetical, I say:

1. What phony military invasions would Clinton have chosen as appropriate after 9/11?  (I've listed Clinton's actual military ventures below the jump.)

2. Would he bite his lip? Would he wipe away a tear?

From Wikipedia's timeline of U.S. military operations:
1992–95 – Somalia: Operation Restore Hope, Somali Civil War: On December 10, 1992, President Bush reported that he had deployed U.S. armed forces to Somalia in response to a humanitarian crisis and a UN Security Council Resolution in support for UNITAF. The operation came to an end on May 4, 1993. U.S. forces continued to participate in the successor United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II).(See also Battle of Mogadishu)[RL30172]

1993–95 – Bosnia: Operation Deny Flight, On April 12, 1993, in response to a United Nations Security Council passage of Resolution 816, U.S. and NATO enforced the no-fly zone over the Bosnian airspace, prohibited all unauthorized flights and allowed to "take all necessary measures to ensure compliance with [the no-fly zone restrictions]."

1993 – Macedonia: On July 9, 1993, President Clinton reported the deployment of 350 U.S. soldiers to the Republic of Macedonia to participate in the UN Protection Force to help maintain stability in the area of former Yugoslavia.[RL30172]

1994 – Bosnia: Banja Luka incident, NATO become involved in the first combat situation when NATO U.S. Air Force F-16 jets shot down four of the six Bosnian Serb J-21 Jastreb single-seat light attack jets for violating UN-mandated no-fly zone.

1994–95 – Haiti: Operation Uphold Democracy, U.S. ships had begun embargo against Haiti. Up to 20,000 U.S. military troops were later deployed to Haiti to restore democratically-elected Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from a military regime which came into power in 1991 after a major coup.[RL30172]

1994 – Macedonia: On April 19, 1994, President Clinton reported that the U.S. contingent in Macedonia had been increased by a reinforced company of 200 personnel.[RL30172]

1995 – Bosnia: Operation Deliberate Force, On August 30, 1995, U.S. and NATO aircraft began a major bombing campaign of Bosnian Serb Army in response to a Bosnian Serb mortar attack on a Sarajevo market that killed 37 people on August 28, 1995. This operation lasted until September 20, 1995. The air campaign along with a combined allied ground force of Muslim and Croatian Army against Serb positions led to a Dayton Agreement in December 1995 with the signing of warring factions of the war. As part of Operation Joint Endeavor, U.S. and NATO dispatched the Implementation Force (IFOR) peacekeepers to Bosnia to uphold the Dayton agreement.[RL30172]

1996 – Liberia: Operation Assured Response, On April 11, 1996, President Clinton reported that on April 9, 1996 due to the :"deterioration of the security situation and the resulting threat to American citizens" in Liberia he had ordered U.S. military forces to evacuate from that country "private U.S. citizens and certain third-country nationals who had taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy compound...."[RL30172]

1996 – Central African Republic, Operation Quick Response: On May 23, 1996, President Clinton reported the deployment of U.S. military personnel to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct the evacuation from that country of "private U.S. citizens and certain U.S. government employees", and to provide "enhanced security for the American Embassy in Bangui."[RL30172] United States Marine Corps elements of Joint Task Force Assured Response, responding in nearby Liberia, provided security to the embassy and evacuated 448 people, including between 190 and 208 Americans. The last Marines left Bangui on June 22.

1996 – Kuwait: Operation Desert Strike, American Air Strikes in the north to protect the Kurdish population against the Iraqi Army attacks. U.S. deploys 5,000 soldiers from the 1ST Cavalry Division at Ft Hood Texas in response to Iraqi attacks on the Kurdish people.[citation needed]

1996 – Bosnia: Operation Joint Guard, On December 21, 1996, U.S. and NATO established the SFOR peacekeepers to replace the IFOR in enforcing the peace under the Dayton agreement.

1997 – Albania: Operation Silver Wake, On March 13, 1997, U.S. military forces were used to evacuate certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens from Tirana, Albania.[RL30172]

1997 – Congo and Gabon: On March 27, 1997, President Clinton reported on March 25, 1997, a standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel had been deployed to Congo and Gabon to provide enhanced security and to be available for any necessary evacuation operation.[RL30172]

1997 – Sierra Leone: On May 29 and May 30, 1997, U.S. military personnel were deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to prepare for and undertake the evacuation of certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens.[RL30172]

1997 – Cambodia: On July 11, 1997, In an effort to ensure the security of American citizens in Cambodia during a period of domestic conflict there, a Task Force of about 550 U.S. military personnel were deployed at Utapao Air Base in Thailand for possible evacuations. [RL30172]

1998 – Iraq: Operation Desert Fox, U.S. and British forces conduct a major four-day bombing campaign from December 16–19, 1998 on Iraqi targets.[RL30172]

1998 – Guinea-Bissau: Operation Shepherd Venture, On June 10, 1998, in response to an army mutiny in Guinea-Bissau endangering the U.S. Embassy, President Clinton deployed a standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel to Dakar, Senegal, to evacuate from the city of Bissau.[RL30172]

1998–99 – Kenya and Tanzania: U.S. military personnel were deployed to Nairobi, Kenya, to coordinate the medical and disaster assistance related to the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.[RL30172]

1998 – Afghanistan and Sudan: Operation Infinite Reach, On August 20, President Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against two suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical factory in Sudan.[RL30172]

1998 – Liberia: On September 27, 1998, America deployed a stand-by response and evacuation force of 30 U.S. military personnel to increase the security force at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia. [1] [RL30172]

1999–2001 – East Timor: Limited number of U.S. military forces deployed with the United Nations-mandated International Force for East Timor restore peace to East Timor.[RL30172]

1999 – Serbia: Operation Allied Force: U.S. and NATO aircraft began a major bombing of Serbia and Serb positions in Kosovo on March 24, 1999, during the Kosovo War due to the refusal by Serbian President Slobodan Milošević to end repression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. This operation ended in June 10, 1999, when Milošević agreed to pull out his troops out of Kosovo. In response to the situation in Kosovo, NATO dispatched the KFOR peacekeepers to secure the peace under UNSC Resolution 1244.[RL30172]


rhhardin said...

It's rogue sentiment. The rogue lives by his wits and tells the truth and outwits the man.

Plus the shrew wife shows his talent at escaping, a positive for men with nagging wives.

So he ran into a couple of unhappy women. He has lots of others.

He did insult your intelligence, but that's just being a democrat.

Ron said...

You have to ask if post 9/11 Bill would have nuked....somebody! Iraq? Saudi Arabia?

Michael K said...

It would have been appropriate for Clinton to be in office on 9/11 as he was responsible for the event occurring. It was an accident of the calendar that Bush was president when Clinton's "chickens came home to roost."

Hagar said...


glenn said...

"He’s the most seductive character that we’ve seen in American politics in our lifetime. He just has this unbelievably resilient and seductive personality."

Skirt chasing a** grabbing, womanizing hillbilly. And he has a lot of company in Boomer America. It's the "Next time it might be me" syndrome.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

And, regarding Bill Clinton, he has been credibly accused of rape, among other things.

What kind of person does one have to be, to put aside all that, and consider him for any other list than the one headed "People Who Are Not In Prison, But Probably Should Be".

khesanh0802 said...

He's popular because we really don't have to deal with him. He has a big clique of fanboys and girls in the usual places that support his myth. Things would be a lot different if anyone thought he would run for office again.
Look at the "popularity" of Jimmy Carter who, by common consent, was an abject failure. Yes, and Carter only lusted with his mind!

Skeptical Voter said...

Why Ms. Althouse. Why did you think it necessary to "show up" Ms. Dowd with that list of Billy Jeff's military adventures.

Methinks that you, like me, often find Ms. Dowd to be full of crapola.

Anonymous said...
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Big Mike said...

Why the Democrat nostalgia for Bill Clinton? It couldn't perhaps be that he is the only competent person the Democrats have put up for high office since 1984, could it?

The Drill SGT said...

Lest we forget the 1993 WTC Bombing

lemondog said...

Always interested in, but never see, the demographics of polls....but seductive personality?!!!!!....I don't think so.

cassandra lite said...

Dowd's really lost it. Does she not remember the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998? The effort to get it passed was led vociferously by Gore, who surely would've waged war on Saddam. And he probably wouldn't have waited till 2003.

As for Clinton, he famously said that he wished he'd been prez on 9/11 b/c he knew he'd never faced a defining crisis. If 3,000 people had died on his watch, he'd have done everything any of his military advisers would have suggested to make sure that *his* name wasn't sullied vis-a-vis keeping "the children" safe on our soil.

campy said...

Better put some ice on it, MoDo.

MathMom said...

I don't need to read any more than those two paragraphs about Bill Clinton's huevos, and manly posturing on the world stage.

I lived at the end of the runway in Dhahrah, Saudi Arabia, and many times watched from my front porch as Clinton ordered the fighters to scramble in defense the No Fly Zone. We knew that when they went out in groups of five or more, the S was going to HTF. Clinton would have them head out, then would change his mind and call them back.

These planes were loaded with missiles which were intended to be fired, but then the pilots would have to land still packing heat. It endangered their lives and of course the wildly expensive aircraft, but Bill was more for peacock displays than actual beating up bad guys.

Spare me.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
It would have been appropriate for Clinton to be in office on 9/11 as he was responsible for the event occurring.

The sad, tawdry delusions of a Bush voter.

Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton is so terribly popular these days because his scribes the MSM rewrite history, cover up his excesses, mistakes and worse; denigrate his immediate successor's accomplishments, made up stories, e.g. the Katrina Debacle where "40,000 died"; turned his victory in Iraq "one of Obama-Biden's greatest accomplishment" and Bush's failure when Dear Leader turned the victory into defeat...

Most of all, his successor on the left is such an incompetent shrinking prick who diminishes the country, diminishes the office right before our eyes.

Hagar said...

The Clintons are like Elmer Gantry married to Ma Barker, but he was lucky enough to be president in prosperous times, and people tend to forget their many mis-adventures, even beside their generally tawdry behavior and his sexual offenses.

hombre said...

ARM: "The sad, tawdry delusions of a Bush voter."

Huffpo, among many others, offers up some reality for ARM who, like most of his ilk, spends life with his eyes wide shut to evade cognitive dissonance.


SteveR said...

Having elected Obama/Biden twice, the American public's "awareness" and these results, don't surprise me. Looking too hard for an explanation, avoids the simple truth. I wasn't seduced by any of them. Good grief! Seductive? Bill Clinton?

Beaver7216 said...

AReasonable Man said..
The sad, tawdry delusions of a Bush voter.

Perhaps you should read Blowback, published in 2000, about US policy and consequences of that policy. The chickens did come home to roost on 9/11.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Today, I am convinced that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and much of the current Middle East strife would not have occurred if Clinton had taken out Bin Laden when he had the chance. Clinton's dithering on that led to 911 which led to all the other stuff.

I'm Full of Soup said...

And Dowd must have written this love note as an apology to the Clintons for her recent column bashing clueless Chelsea.

traditionalguy said...

Axelrod just confirmed the thesis of Blood Feud.

Obama and his machine fear, despise, and want to eliminate Clinton, Inc. from public life. Frail old Bill still can win over the voters by pointing out Obama is a lying amateur who is disloyal to all who deal with him, and has never been a good leader.

Unknown said...

The collective brain dead in Hollywood think Bill is sexy and they are all lined up to blow him ... so.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

From Isn't It Rich to A Popular President in one week. And an assist from David Axelrod. Wow. The fix is in!

Cedarford said...

YouGov self-selects younger political junkies to be the pollees - so it is expected they would give the black afformative action project Obama higher IQ marks than Nixon got.
Nixon and Clinton were very close in pure brain ability. And Nixon worked harder.
Before Nixon and Clinton, to get Presidents of top level intelligence, you have to go back to Hoover, Wilson, Garfield, Arthur, Lincoln, and Madison and Jefferson.

In some ways Dubya was a better man than Clinton, was more "low low intellectual curiosity" than dumb.
And I think all the Presidents going back to LBJ with the exception of Ford...were smarter than the Black Messiah that the liberals and progressive Jews orchestrated into the White House.

Now though, it is hard to overlook the country has suffered as big a decline under Obama as it did with Dubya or Jimmy Carter.
So younger people remember that the country grew, jobs were created, and nearly everyone was better off after Reagan and Bill Clinton's time.

Obama's reputation and those who are the puppeteers manipulating America through their Ruling Elite status plus media and academia control - will suffer in later years.
Reagan, Bill Clinton and HW Bush may also suffer as history holds them to account for betraying the US worker by globalization and free trade folly.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Did anyone else read Peggy Noonan's encomium to Harry Truman yesterday? Now, that is how to be an ex-president.

cubanbob said...

"He’s the most seductive character that we’ve seen in American politics in our lifetime. He just has this unbelievably resilient and seductive personality."

MoDo must be an easy lay. On the other hand my wife and I found it very easy to resist Clinton's charms in 92 and 96.

Michael K said...

ARM, Your comment does not deserve response.

As usual.

David said...

Clinton is a fundamentally dishonest and manipulative man. He is a bully and a coward. He is also audacious, narcissistic and glib. He is a good actor. A large cadre of sycophants and fools have found this combination charming, and have portrayed him as a charming and empathetic person, when he in fact is ruthlessly self centered.

We are very fortunate that he did not have a "defining crisis" on his watch.

It is a testament to the strength of the country overall that we have survived such a person in reasonable order.

Drago said...

cubanbob: "MoDo must be an easy lay."

Well, I wouldn't say it was "easy" to lay her Bob......


J Lee said...

You'll see a lot more build-up of Bill over the next two years, as sort of a reverse of his 1992 "Buy one, get one free" statement about Hillary. That was when the governor was offering his wife up to liberals as proof that he wouldn't be some moderate Democrat if elected president.

The difference is in this case, Hillary would be the candidate and Bill is being unofficially put forward as 'buyer's remorse insurance'. For voters who elected and re-elected Obama because they wanted to feel good about themselves and being part of history in electing the first African-American president, but who at the moment may at least be regretting their 2012 vote, Team Clinton is asking them in 2016 to again feel good about themselves and being part of history in electing the first woman president.

But in case they're a little wary of doing that again because of Obama, the inferred, but never-to-be-officially-spoken promise will be if Mrs. Clinton proves to be as good at the job of president as the current Oval Office resident is, you don't have to worry, because Bill can come in, tell his wife to go sit in the corner and fix everything up (which is why it's always simply going to be inferred, because feminists just might get a little miffed if that became an official part of the Clinton platform).

Michael K said...

"We are very fortunate that he did not have a "defining crisis" on his watch."

Whatever you think about Bush and Cheney, they provided competent leadership after 9/11. The invasion of Iraq is worth debating but the rest was pretty well done considering the threat, which is far from over.

Chris Lopes said...

To state the obvious that Dowd refuses to see, Clinton is popular because the current guy really sucks at the job. Clinton's only seductive quality these days is not being Obama. The media needs someone to love, and since it can't be a Republican, the fall back on the last successful Democrat. If Clinton didn't exist, they'd be having orgasms over Jimmy Carter.

Cedarford said...

Michael K said...
"We are very fortunate that he did not have a "defining crisis" on his watch."

Whatever you think about Bush and Cheney, they provided competent leadership after 9/11. The invasion of Iraq is worth debating but the rest was pretty well done considering the threat, which is far from over
I would disagree.

He and his Bushies gave us "security theater" at airports.

Along with Giuliani, the whole "Heroes!!" crap and the endless Mournathon for "The Most Special Victims of an Enemy, Ever!!"

While his war on the Terrahist Evildoers was going on, the idiot had a Republican Senate and House but only cared about getting a war on with Iraq..not about finally rolling back 40 years of Democrat liberal laws and Great Society entitlements.

That and the pigs at the feeding trough that was what Delay, Frist, Hastert, Norquist and the rest of the K Street whores were all about.

Bush could have cared less about the mass fight of jobs and wealth from the USA happening due to free trade and globalisation.

While he set up the Heroes of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act which seemed to be more focused on non-Muslim Americans....Bush could care less about the Borders. He shrugged when reporters asked about the throusands filmed every hour on TV crossing a half mile strip outside San Diego. They were the people who had "Great family values" and would do the work no American wanted....

And the moron Bush fully bought into Islam as the Religion of Peace, and the vile Neocons move to start endless wars to "save the noble Muslims and gift them with soccer for girls and "Freedom for purple-fingered democracy loving Freedom Lovers".

He signed off on the Bremer decisions, which meant 100,000 Iraqis dead in Civil War, a few thousand Americans dead, and over a trillion dollars blown for nothing.

Being drunk or due to some other excuse - Bush missed the fact Lincoln orchestrating the killing of 600,000 Americans was far worse than what the Arab tyrant did in "killing his own people".

He ending his Presidency handing his even stupider affirmative action hire replacement a huge steaming bag of shit.

Obama and Carter may be judged worse, and like Hoover, Bush could be always referred to as a really nice guy who lacked the tools to be a great President....But have no doubt. America declined badly under Bush. He made horrendous decisions and failed to address the stuff that finally blew up in 2008.
He will be on most people's "10 Worst Presidents" list.

Freeman Hunt said...

He is every bit as seductive as Mike Huckabee.

MDIJim said...

J Lee, you have read my mind exactly. Any patriot who wants to save this country from spiraling down the drain will support Hilary in order to get a competent person into the White House.

Tibore said...

Clinton never had a "defining" crisis on his watch? Wow... wonder what the survivors of the Battle of Mogadishu (aka the "Blackhawk Down" event) would feel about that. "Sorry, folks... that crisis just wasn't defining...".

Kirk Parker said...


Is that a subtle way of dissing both men? Because when I see the Huckster coming, my instinctive reaction is "Run away! Run away!"