Clinton Backing Bush? Don't Bet On It!
July 24, 2003
There's something creepily fascinating about
watching Bill Clinton work his verbal magic.
Knowing that what he's saying has nothing to do
with what he's trying to accomplish gives
everything he says the air of a mystery, a game
with rules that may change from time to time.
It's akin to watching a very good stage magician,
knowing that he's fooling you, but unable
to resist trying to figure out how. Bill
Clinton is a man who plans everything he says in
public with the urgency of Patton preparing to
take on Rommel.
During a phone call Clinton made to the Larry King show this past Tuesday, he
made some statements which caused a little "shock
and awe" among those who have been ceaselessly
attacking the President of late. In fact, not one
of the nine Democratic Presidential hopefuls has
had a word to say in the two days since.
...Let me tell you what I know. When I left
office, there was a substantial amount of
biological and chemical material unaccounted for.
That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we
knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in
all the inspection processes and that was a lot.
And then we bombed with the British for four days
in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might
have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none
of it. But we didn't know. So I thought it was
prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and
for the U.N. to say you got to let these
inspectors in, and this time if you don't
cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not
just continued sanctions.
Now, some people might think that Bill Clinton
did a nice thing to stand behind the President
like that. If you think so, you're wrong. Don't
ever go into politics, for your own sake and
mine. Bill Clinton was thinking mainly about two
things when he planned the remarks he would use
on the air: the past and the future. His.
I mean, we're all more sensitive to any possible
stocks of chemical and biological weapons. So
there's a difference between British -- British
intelligence still maintains that they think the
nuclear story was true. I don't know what was
true, what was false. I thought the White House
did the right thing in just saying, Well, we
probably shouldn't have said that. And I think we
ought to focus on where we are and what the right
thing to do for Iraq is now. That's what I think.
We should be pulling for America on this. We
should be pulling for the people of Iraq. We can
have honest disagreements about where we go from
here, and we have space now to discuss that in
what I hope will be a nonpartisan and open way.
But this State of the Union deal they decided to
use the British intelligence. The president said
it was British intelligence. Then they said on
balance they shouldn't have done it. You know,
everybody makes mistakes when they are president.
I mean, you can't make as many calls as you have
to make without messing up once in awhile. The
thing we ought to be focused on is what is the
right thing to do now. That's what I think.
Clinton knows how the far Left have lately been
loudly doubting the very existence of Saddam's
weapons of mass destruction. Whether that
doubt's been false (from the players) or real
(from their dupes), Clinton knows as much
as anyone that those weapons were there in
1998 (see my article, "Whining of Mass Distraction: How To Discredit A
President"). After all, when Clinton ordered the
bombing of Iraq in '98, he said in
part, "Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear,
chemical and biological weapons programs and its
military capacity to threaten its neighbours...
Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten
his neighbours or the world with nuclear arms,
poison gas or biological weapons." He knows that
whether they've been buried in unmarked areas, or
under some of those mass graves, or tucked
safely away in the Beka'a Valley in Lebanon,
those weapons exist. (Yes, I would dig
below some of those mass graves if I were there --
Saddam's people seem to have had a penchant for
hiding things where no sane person would
want to look.) If you check out his
recent speeches and walk-on appearances, Clinton
has been bashing Bush with the best of them --
but has never said Saddam's WMDs weren't there.
Apparently, unlike most Democrats and Liberals,
Clinton paid attention to the recent Tom Brokaw interview with David Kay,
head weapons inspector in Iraq. When asked about
the documentary evidence he's uncovered, Kay
said, "[E]very WMD program in this country has
always had large elements of foreign procurement.
So we’re finding purchasing records that tells us
what they imported. They also - they were
assiduous as record-keepers. So we’re finding
progress reports. They also got financial rewards
from Saddam Hussein by indicating breakthroughs.
They actually went to Saddam and said we have
made this progress. Their records, their audio
tapes of those interviews give us that. There’s
just - it’s a variety of things that are here."
As I've opined before (see my article, "How Can We
Miss The Clintons If They Won't Go Away?"),
the Clintons are aiming for a return to the White
House, with Hillary as President and Bill as the
first First, um, Gentleman. Key to this strategy
is keeping the Nine Nobodies seeking Democratic
candidacy looking as weak as possible, cutting
them off at the knees when their vicious attacks
on President Bush -- their only platform -- start
gaining traction. If it begins to look as if
they might weaken Bush enough to lose the
election, then Hillary will step in and announce
her candidacy for '04. That's not terribly
likely, so their plan is for Hillary to run
in '08. Any other Democrat winning the '04
election would ruin that plan, as he (or she, if
anyone wants to pretend Carol Moseley Braun has a
snowball's chance) would run for re-election
in '08. Hillary doesn't want to wait until 2012
to make her run at the White House; she'll be 65
by the time she'd take office (and she plans for
two terms). So the strategy is to weaken the
Democratic hopefuls enough to keep them from
winning under any circumstances, while weakening
President Bush enough to allow Hillary to win if
possible. That's why the book with Hillary's
name on it (written by three ghost-writers) came
out just when the Democratic wannabes
started their contest to see who gets to lose to
Bush in 2004. That's why Bill's book is
scheduled for release in the fall of 2004.
Whoever gets the Democratic nomination for 2004
is doomed to political obscurity by the cold
ambition of the Clintons.
Clinton's apparent backing of Bush was a shrewdly
calculated political ploy. As much as Clinton's
remarks strengthened the President, they weakened
the Democratic Party far more. With Democratic
Leadership Council chairman Terry McAuliffe
running anti-Bush attack ads on TV (with Bush's
2003 State of the Union speech carefully edited
to pretend he didn't attribute the uranium
intelligence given us by the British TO the
British), Clinton's support of the President has
severely damaged the Democratic attack strategy.
It'll be interesting to see how this all plays
Most importantly, the Republicans had better
start thinking about who to run for President in
2008. If they'd take my advice, it would
be to replace Dick Cheney with Colin Powell, and
give him four years of on-the-job training before
putting him up against Hillary in '08.
Now that would be a race to remember.
Email Joe Mariani: CavalierX@yahoo.com
Comment on this column in
Tell a friend about this site!