by Jack Landsman, Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 02:53:20 PM EDT
Until three weeks ago my biggest regret was an epic failure to hop aboard that Barack Obama bandwagon back in February 2007 or even January ’08. Whether you supported him, or whether you’re creepily infatuated with him, is irrelevant. Undeniably there’s a lot to like about our 44th president—namely his charmed past smokin’ ganja in the island paradise of Hawaii and his awesome off-the-rack Burberry suits. In the interest of fairness, however, he’s also a egomaniacal naïf with a long and unfortunate history imbibing the insane doctrine of black liberation theology. Not that I care about any of that. While I have learned to shroud my contempt for the president in serious policy talk, the cynical truth is that I was simply convinced the man couldn’t win.
But that’s all been eclipsed by my inexcusable failure to purchase Newsweek for all of $1 (and the assumption of some small liabilities) this past Aug. 2. Fuck! My first order of business would have been to saunter into my newly-acquired Manhattan headquarters of our Washington bureau—like my idol Charlie Kane—and immediately cashier Howard Fineman. My goodness, imagine the shivers down the spines of that entire clique of lazy, capricious but very serious establishment reporters it would have triggered.
Alas, I struck out. Consequently, Howard Fineman is still safely ensconced in his Newsweek sinecure and free to trot out sycophantic nonsense like his most recent piece: “The Resurgence of Bill Clinton.”
If you’re President Obama, here is a galling fact: most Democrats would rather have Bill Clinton campaign for them this fall than, um, you.
“Part of it is that Bill Clinton is, at this point, a sympathetic story and has always been a likeable guy,” says Eric Schultz of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. “But his appeal right now has to do with the fact that voters associate him with a time of prosperity. You can’t say that about either George W. Bush or, unfortunately, Barack Obama.”
… As a Democratic campaign operative who spoke on background says, “Somebody’s got to get out and make the case nationally for a Democratic Congress. And who is that going to be? Not Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. If you’ve got Clinton, you’ve got to use him.”
Grassroots folk need to very clear about what’s happening here. Recently, we spoke repeatedly about the budding rehabilitation of Mr. Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, and that’s basically the story here. In the lame, cyclical brains of reporters like Howard Fineman, Obama’s breathtaking failure necessarily vindicates his two immediate predecessors.
As Obama’s fate (one-term miserable failure) becomes unavoidably clear, we can surely anticipate the begrudging talk of how Shrub possessed a certain certitude and ruthlessness tragically absent in Mr. Obama. Likewise, Bill Clinton will be canonized as the last great Democratic president. Black people—the president’s biggest boosters—are pretty fickle, too. Once he reaches those Nixonian levels of unpopularity, we might even see the first black president and Carrier of the Dream morph back into that awkward, blackish fellow that once got his ass and his pride handed to him by Bobby Rush on the South Side.