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

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated itsĀ 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Bangin' in LR

    About 2:30 a.m. Saturday, with the Power Ultra Lounge downtown jammed for a rap show by Finese2Tymes (Ricky Hampton of Memphis), gunfire broke out. Before it was over, 25 people had been wounded by gunfire and three others injured in the rush for safety.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

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

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Pay attention

    • Nicely said, Antwan.

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Sounds like maybe some of those descriptors hit a little close to home for you.

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Oh, please. Just a teensy bit self-righteous aren't you. You are. How do you KNOW…

    • on July 20, 2017
 

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