Friday, December 9
What Planet is Bill Clinton Living On?
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post, Dec 8, 2005
After watching Bill Clinton’s jovial joint appearance with Bush 41 on Larry King last night, I found myself wondering what planet this guy is living on. He seemed utterly disconnected from reality.
The two former presidents were on the show to discuss “the big announcement” of the first major grants from the Bush/Clinton Katrina Fund, but King started the questioning by asking both men about Iraq.
Bush, Sr. begged off, saying: “I don’t get into these things, Larry, anymore, you know that.”
Maybe Clinton should have tried the same dodge, because his response was utterly incoherent -- starting with his claim, “I’m here to do this tsunami work” (hurricane work, Mr. President. The tsunami work was in the spring).
Then he offered up this pearl of wisdom on the war in Iraq: “Whether you were for it or against it or whatever your opinions of it are to date, every American ought to be pulling for this mission to succeed.” What the hell is that supposed to mean?
This is a catalytic moment in the Democratic Party, with its members struggling to define their position on the war (my advice: follow Jack Murtha), and the best Clinton can come up with is an empty bromide about every American pulling for the mission to succeed?
He then backed up his argument by saying: “All you have to do is remember this terrible terrorist attack in Jordan that was launched from the Sunni section of Iraq to know that”. Huh? You lost me there, Bill. Are you suggesting that we need to fight them over there so that they won’t blow up weddings in Jordan?
Just a couple of weeks ago, Clinton told a gathering of students in Dubai that the invasion of Iraq was “a big mistake”. So why didn’t he say that last night? Didn’t want to hurt Poppy’s feelings? Or is he taking a page out of Hillary’s Iraq playbook and calibrating his position depending on who he’s talking to?
Clinton was just as lost in space when the discussion turned to Katrina, the ostensible reason for the ex-presidents’ appearance. There was lots of talk about the $110 million the pair had raised -- including donations from the governments of Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and Trinidad and Tobago -- for Katrina relief, but not one word on the current uproar over the failure of President Bush and Congress to follow through on the promise to rebuild the Gulf Coast.