THE PLANK FEBRUARY 13, 2008
Some are labor leaders still angry that Bill Clinton championed the
North American Free Trade Agreement as part of his centrist agenda.
Some are social activists who lobbied unsuccessfully to get him to
veto welfare reform legislation, a talking point for his 1996
Some served in Congress when the Clintons dismissed their advice on
health care reform in 1993. Some called her a bully at the time.
Some are DNC members who saw the party committee weakened under the
Clintons and watched President Bush use the White House to build up the
Republican National Committee.
Some are senators who had to defend Clinton for lying to the country about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Some are allies of former Vice President Al Gore who still believe the Lewinsky scandal cost him the presidency in 2000.Some are House members (or former House members) who still blame Clinton for Republicans seizing control of the House in 1994.Some are donors who paid for the Clintons' campaigns and his presidential library.
Some are folks who owe the Clintons a favor but still feel betrayed or
taken for granted. Could that be why Bill Richardson, a former U.N.
secretary and energy secretary in the Clinton administration, refused
to endorse her even after an angry call from the former president?
"What," Bill Clinton reportedly asked Richardson, "isn't two Cabinet
And some just want something new. They appreciate the fact that Clinton
was a successful president and his wife was an able partner, but they
never loved the couple as much as they feared them.
Of course, Noam noted this phenomenon a few weeks ago in his piece on the Democratic establishment's ill will toward the Clintons. (And Mike detected some of the Clintonites' haughty attitude toward Richardson in this Stump post.) But I hadn't realized the animosity was this deep. When Obama talks about turning the page, he's clearly not just talking to rank-and-file voters.