The Clinton Factor

I watched Bill Clinton’s interview with NBC’s Craig Melvin the other day and was transported.

I recalled that former Clinton adviser Paul Begala once talked of what it was like to be at a summit-like setting and knowing that “the smartest guy in the room was your guy.” Imagine.

I remembered Dick Greco telling me that he spent a few minutes in the back of the presidential limo with Clinton after he had flown to Tampa to make an address at Jefferson High School. Clinton asked Greco what was happening in Tampa, and the former mayor told him about the passing of the Community Investment Tax. Greco was later blown away by how Clinton lauded him in impressive, free-flowing, Clintonian detail for his pragmatic approach that included a football stadium as an inducement to get tax support for schools, police and fire departments. Vintage performance.

I wondered why he was submitting to a network interview until it became apparent that he was hustling a book. He even brought along his co-writer, James Patterson. Then he got combative and self-righteous in an exchange with Melvin when he was asked–inevitably–about his impeachment and the #MeToo movement. He wasn’t apologetic, he was arrogant. He turned a dialogue into a diatribe and ranted about sloppy journalism. He rhetorically asked Melvin if he thought JFK should have resigned. Etc.

Then I was reminded why Hillary Clinton isn’t president.

Yes, she had those email issues, Benghazi, Wall Street speaking fees and a flawed campaign strategy. But she still won the popular vote. But she was unable to rally enough women, including Bernie Sanders’ women, to make history that was there for the making against the most vulgar, vile, misogynistic presidential candidate in American history. That could only have happened if her background included being a disingenuous enabler for a predator of women, a predator who arguably still doesn’t get it.

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