NEW YORK July 10, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Ah, to be a fly on the wall at the Clinton breakfast table. In my dinner-theatre mind, it goes something like this:
Former President William Jefferson Clinton enters the kitchen with a smile. His wife, the former secretary of state, sits at the breakfast nook – arms crossed.
Bill: Good morning, Sunshine!
Bill: Darling? Hey there, future 45, why so grumpy? Let’s turn that frown upside down!
Hillary: (Frostily) Would you like some orange juice?
Bill: I sure would, buttercup!
(Hillary reaches for the carafe and pours the beverage on Bill’s head.)
My apologies to any real playwrights but I think that’s a pretty close approximation of the prevailing mood.
Recent days have proven that Hillary Clinton will have two recurring issues going forward – each certain to cause their own mini-dramas from now until November, and beyond. They are:
- The very serious question of her use of a private email server while secretary of state and how it may have compromised classified and top secret material.
The brevity of point number 2 is in inverse proportion to his potential annoyance factor to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
That the presumptive Democratic nominee will have a continuing and ongoing problem dodging an email controversy – of her own making – from now until doomsday is abundantly clear. But what is much more fun to think about is the continuing and ongoing problem of her husband. More than a few married women can probably identify with that.
It’s not so much that Bill Clinton is a negative force, a liability or even an unknown variable. After a quarter century on the national scene, nothing he does will surprise anyone. (Boy, am I ever suddenly aware that those could be famous last words.)
But, in reality, those who love him, really love him; those who hate him – well, you get the idea. He’s not changing any hearts and minds. Some might say there is no need to worry about him and that we should just let Bill be Bill.
The problem with that are his contradictory contributions to any campaign. At his best, he can be an electrifying and effective speaker. He tends to own any room he is in. His presence cannot be denied, nor can his ability to rally the base of the Democratic Party. That is what in sophisticated political parlance is known as “good Bill.”
As luck would have it, there is also a “bad Bill” and no one gets one without the other.
His 11th hour interjection into the FBI investigation surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails while she was secretary of state is just a taste of the potential problems Bill Clinton can generate. He can and will be an ongoing wild card in her campaign and a future squeaky wheel in the White House should she win the presidency.
Entertaining as it may be for us to watch, such ill-thought-out moves are anything but helpful to a candidate running for president of the United States – in this case, his wife.
His seeking out of Attorney General Loretta Lynch while both happened to be on an airport tarmac in Phoenix – the very woman who would ultimately decide if Hillary Clinton faced charges or not – goes beyond bad judgment and brushes up against the kind of reckless disregard for ethics and protocol that both Clintons have become known for since entering public life.
Running for president is a time when everyone on the team needs to be singing the same tune. But ever since Bill Clinton played saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show, we’ve known he far prefers dancing to his own music.
Back in 2008, there was a commercial Hillary ran which implied that a 3 a.m. phone call would inevitably signal a crisis and that she would be best equipped to handle it. I’m thinking she might actually get a lot of those phone calls in the coming weeks and months.
My guess is a lot of them will be about Bill.
Troy Media columnist Gavin MacFadyen is a U.S based writer and occasional lawyer. Blending insight and wit, he brings a unique perspective to the issues of the day. Gavin is also included in Troy Media’s Unlimited Access subscription plan.
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