The Clintons’ amnesia.
Not to pile on, but of all the commentary on the Clintons’ attacks on Barack Obama, E. J. Dionne’s is the best I’ve seen so far.
Let’s grant the Clintons their claims: The press is tougher on Hillary Clinton than it is on Barack Obama; the old, irrational Clinton hatred is alive and well in certain parts of the media; Hillary Clinton gets hit harder when she criticizes Obama than Obama does when he goes after her.
Let’s further stipulate that Obama’s formulation–he said Reagan “changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not”–was guaranteed to enrage the former president. In Democratic circles, associating someone with Nixon is akin to a Roman comparing an emperor with Caligula.
None of it justifies the counterproductive behavior. Does anyone doubt that if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, she will need the votes of the young people and African-Americans who have rallied to Obama–and that what she’s doing now will make it harder to energize them? Doesn’t calling in Bill Clinton as the lead attacker merely underscore Obama’s central theme, that it’s time to “turn the page” on our Bush-Clinton-Bush political past?
And with both Clintons on record saying kind things about Reagan, why go after Obama on the point? Honestly: If Obama is a Reaganite, then I am a salamander.
Read the rest right here.