Favorite

Love that Clinton 

Consider: "The Hunting of the President," the documentary by Harry Thomason based on the book by Gene Lyons and Joe Conason, premiered this week in Little Rock. The movie recalls the right-wing conspiracy - aided by the putative liberal media - to bring down Bill Clinton's presidency. At press time, it looked like well more than 600 people would pay $50 to $100 to see the first showing of the film. Arkansas had a starring role in the Whitewater affair, so interest in the movie should be strong here. But consider, too, the coming release of Clinton's biography, "My Life." It will go on sale without a customary excerpt first in a major newspaper or magazine. The publisher doesn't need the promotion. The president's book will undoubtedly outsell his wife's book, a best seller, too, despite its lack of revelation. For all the lack of excitement in the pages of Hillary's book, I remember standing in a bookstore in Verona and watching as Italian-language versions of the book flew from an imposing stack. If enthusiasm for Mrs. Clinton's book is any indication, the same store will need guards for crowd control when the president's book arrives. The good feeling towards Clinton is not news, though you might not know it if you listen to TV commentators, particularly those on Fox. They tend to overlook that Clinton's popularity was higher on the last day of his presidency than that of Ronald Reagan on his last day. But the Clinton attack machine has swayed even prominent Democrats. Al Gore won the 2000 vote - though not by enough to overcome corrupt Florida officials and the Bush Supreme Court - despite the distance he put between himself and Clinton. Gore was running, essentially, as an incumbent. But rather than tout the years of prosperity and balanced budgets the country had enjoyed under Clinton, Gore ignored them as best he could. He bought the media's suggestion that he would hamper his campaign with allusions to the scandal-sullied Clinton. Happily, the Democratic candidate this year has a keener grasp of politics. The election is again about an incumbent, George W. Bush. Democrat John Kerry must give ample reasons (not hard) why Bush's record doesn't merit another term. He must also illustrate (here he has a way to go) the ways in which he can do better. Kerry is smart enough - or perhaps personally secure enough - to recognize that a popular former president with a knack for unsettling the opposition can be an asset. (See George Bush, busily wrapping himself in Reagan's aura.) The media (fed by Republican spin) has tried to sell the idea that the Clinton book will turn attention from Kerry. The Republicans would dearly love for Kerry to pull a Gore and tell Clinton to shut up. Kerry is smarter than that. He will capitalize on Clinton. "I intend to get him to campaign as much as he can," Kerry told the New York Times. "I think he's good." Al Gore might have been president today had he been equally insightful.
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Supremely discredited

    Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court.
    • Jul 30, 2015
  • Hutchinson pulls Faubus move

    I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
    • Jan 19, 2017
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More on LRSD tax

    When the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and a Walton Foundation-paid lobbyist, long devoted critics of the Little Rock School District, lead the messaging for a quarter-billion dollars in new tax debt for the district, it is cause for caution.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • And without NATO, Russia could easily start picking off those countries one by one. Like…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Putin is on record frequently lamenting the collapse of the Soviet Empire. He'd like to…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • And what was that about the Clinton Foundation's Global Initiative shutting down because donations have…

    • on January 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation