Bill Clinton Unleashed

by Isaac Chotiner | January 7, 2008

From the NY Sun:

Just hours after his wife got choked up on the campaign trail, President Clinton showed anger and frustration as he complained that the press has given a free pass to the nascent front-runner in the Democratic presidential contest, Senator Obama of Illinois.

"It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, enumerating the years, and never got asked one time--not once, 'Well, how could you say that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war. And you took that speech you're now running on off your Web site in 2004. And there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since.'" Mr. Clinton said at a town-hall style meeting Monday afternoon at Dartmouth College. "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairytale I've ever seen."

"The bounce always occurs on the second day not the first day," Mr. Clinton said, conceding the mistake before turning the table on the questioner and the Obama camp. "What did you think about the Obama thing calling Hillary the senator from Punjab? Did you like that? Or what about the Obama handout that was covered up, the press never reported on, implying that I was a crook. Scouring me—scathing criticism over my financial reports. Ken Starr spent $70 million to find out that I wouldn't take a nickel to see the cow jump over the moon."

While speaking passionately about why his wife is the best choice for voters, Mr. Clinton sounded glum and downbeat her chances in New Hampshire. "It was really an unfortunate development for her that New Hampshrie moved its election to five days after Iowa," he said. "There's just only so much you can do against a tidal wave." The criticism of Mr. Obama and the press appeared to be the sharpest Mr. Clinton has offered publicly since his interview with Charlie Rose last month. The former president seemed to take care not to repeat his widely-reported suggestion that a vote for Mr. Obama was "roll [of] the dice," but Mr. Clinton delivered most of the hard-edged points from that critique and then some.

Wow. 

--Isaac Chotiner 

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