Author Topic: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier  (Read 348 times)

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Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« on: February 17, 2014, 01:23:35 PM »
http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/why-lewinsky-shouldn-t-be-a-gop-talking-point-20140216


Politics
Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point
Clinton-bashing makes the Republican Party look desperate and out of control.

By Ron Fournier

February 16, 2014

Bill Clinton uses a car-racing metaphor to explain the difference between rash and calm decision-making in politics. “The great drivers, when the cars get close, the turns get hairy, they calm down, and they see everything, and they act,” he says. “The ones who are fearful and can't concentrate and can't calm down, run into the wall.”

Republican leaders should pay attention, because on the issue of whether Clinton’s sex life is relevant 14 years after he left office, they’re once again careening toward a wall.

Sen. Rand Paul dredged up Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and his subsequent impeachment, telling an interviewer last month that Democrats don’t have the moral high ground on women’s issues because the former president’s “predatory” behavior toward the White House intern.

“One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office. And I think the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this,” the Kentucky Republican said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Though Paul said that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be judged for her husband’s behavior, he suggested the Lewinsky affair would be a factor if she sought the presidency in two years. “Sometimes it’s hard to separate one from the other,” Paul said of the Clintons.

On the same show, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Sunday that Clinton had “breached his responsibility” and “embarrassed” the nation. But he added, “I don’t think Bill Clinton is relevant as Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for office.”

What’s going on here? For Paul, it’s clearly a strategy to gain a head start on the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast notes that the quasi-libertarian takes positions that are not always in tune with the GOP’s conservative base, such as a relatively open mind on same-sex marriage. Criticizing Clinton (and disingenuously accusing the media of giving the former president “a pass”) is red meat to social conservatives.

Furthermore, nothing steels a candidate for a big fight better than a big fight, and Clinton is an insanely visible target. “The more Paul talks about the Clintons, the more he sets up the mental picture in the brains of Republican primary voters of him being the logical guy to step into the ring with them,” Tomasky wrote. “After all, they’ll think, he’s sure not afraid of them!”

I’ll add one more reason. Focusing voters on the past may be a subtle way to argue that Hillary Clinton is not about the future.

Here’s the problem: While Clinton bashing may be a good pre-primary tactic, it’s a lousy politics for the Republican Party in general. We know that because Clinton registered the highest approval ratings of his presidency during the period between the January 1998 exposure of his affair and February 1999, when the Senate voted to acquit him.

In July 2012, Clinton’s approval rating registered at 66 percent, higher than any time since he left office. Two-thirds of women gave him high marks, as did 44 percent of Republicans.

Elections are about the future. The GOP is harping on the past. Romney seem to acknowledge the problem when he said Sunday, “I don’t think Bill Clinton is as relevant as Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president.” He added, “She has her own record and her own vision.”

What exactly is the GOP vision beyond attacking President Obama and two Clintons? That’s what brought to mind the Clinton car-racing metaphor, which I’ve heard him deploy over the years in different contexts. Lacking a fresh, forward-looking agenda, Republicans should worry that attacks on Bill Clinton’s character could backfire again, making them appear to be acting out of fear, unable to concentrate or calm down.

The Clinton quote at the top of this column came from an October 2009 campaign speech for an embattled Democratic candidate, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, when the ex-president was begging voters to carefully consider their options before turning against the incumbent.

He used a second metaphor in the speech: "The great quarterbacks,” Clinton said, “are the ones that keep looking at the field, even when these 300-pound behemoths are about to crush them, right. They are, they're calm, and they complete the pass. That's what voting is for people in trouble this year. You cannot let people let their fears, their frustrations, their discouragement, keep them from the polls.”

New Jersey didn’t listen. A few days later, Corzine was defeated by Republican Chris Christie, who went on to win re-election in a 2013 campaign rife with poor decision-making. Christie’s presidential dreams are now as stalled as a race car on the George Washington Bridge. When will these guys learn?

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 02:03:45 PM »
I agree that it would be crazy to bring Bill Clinton into a campaign against Hillary.

But, Mark Halperin made an interesting point on Morning Joe:  The GOP is trying to scare Hillary  out of the race, letting her know that nothing will be off the table in a campaign against her.
From  "A Shining City on a Hill"

To "A global laughingstock"

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 02:06:31 PM »
I do agree that in a general election, attacking Bill Clinton'e infidelities will likely serve to bring sympathy upon Hillary and therefore backfire.  However, the objective of most GOP candidates is to win the GOP primary, and there it's a different story.

Also, I think there may be a way to finesse it that it could be productive, even in the general election.  It has to fit in with a pattern of blind ambition and poor judgment on Hillary's part, and the accuser has to have enough savvy to tread very lightly while letting the audience draw the conclusions.

Let's not forget Hillary was the primary architect of the cover-ups and subsequent smear campaigns against Juanita Broadrick, Kathleen Willey, etc.  That can't sit well with thoughtful women.


"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 02:11:14 PM »
Interesting this is all of a sudden he's "talking point... "  They are becoming easy to spot.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline DCPatriot

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 02:22:51 PM »

I do agree that in a general election, attacking Bill Clinton'e infidelities will likely serve to bring sympathy upon Hillary and therefore backfire. 


Not if the entire truth is brought out....that Hillary Clinton kniew and condoned it.  And was complicit in cover-ups.

Then we talk about her being dismissed from a Watergate Investigation Committee legal team for falsifying/withholding evidence...and eventually disbarred.

This ain't the Nineties Baby!    :nono:
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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 02:43:44 PM »
I do agree that in a general election, attacking Bill Clinton'e infidelities will likely serve to bring sympathy upon Hillary and therefore backfire.  However, the objective of most GOP candidates is to win the GOP primary, and there it's a different story.

Also, I think there may be a way to finesse it that it could be productive, even in the general election.  It has to fit in with a pattern of blind ambition and poor judgment on Hillary's part, and the accuser has to have enough savvy to tread very lightly while letting the audience draw the conclusions.

Let's not forget Hillary was the primary architect of the cover-ups and subsequent smear campaigns against Juanita Broadrick, Kathleen Willey, etc.  That can't sit well with thoughtful women.

By the election this salacious stuff will be close to 20 years in the past. It didn't turn public opinion against the Clintons then, and it surely won't help to win an election in 2016.

 
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.”

Abe Lincoln

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 02:48:50 PM »
By the election this salacious stuff will be close to 20 years in the past. It didn't turn public opinion against the Clintons then, and it surely won't help to win an election in 2016.

My personal opinion, but... I don't think George W. Bush would have won the presidency in 2000 were it not for the Clinton scandals.  Every economic indicator suggested Gore should have had an easy time of it.

"She only coughs when she lies."

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 03:12:15 PM »
My personal opinion, but... I don't think George W. Bush would have won the presidency in 2000 were it not for the Clinton scandals.  Every economic indicator suggested Gore should have had an easy time of it.
My opinion, in 2000 Bush lost the popular vote, and won the electoral vote by a whisker. Demographics have changed since then, moving away from the GOP.

My point-don't rely on social conservative topics, to persuade Americans to vote for you, outside the dwindling list of socon states.

And if the strongest case for a GOP candidates is that he/she isn't a Clinton, who did what they did 18 years ago, then don't expect it to prevail.
This whole topic is a trap, I think. Set by Hillary's side to get it out early and let the GOP prove they are obsessed with personal behavior issues involving sex.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.”

Abe Lincoln

Offline DCPatriot

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 03:22:18 PM »
I say nonsense!

They went all the way back to 1992 when Romney was with Baine Capital and used it against him as a candidate.

And look how they treated Sarah Palin, the candidate.....

Gimme a break!   :whistle:
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"Journalism is about covering the news.  With a pillow.  Until it stops moving."    - Iowahawk

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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 03:50:58 PM »
I will vote for the candidate who shows he or she has a pair of steel toed shoes and a strong spine.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online kevindavis

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Re: Why Lewinsky Shouldn't Be a GOP Talking Point By Ron Fournier
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2014, 06:59:35 PM »
I think the question should be what was her biggest accomplishment?
GOP House members came to Paul Ryan to be Speaker. He didn't come to them. And he was everybody's conservative darling back in 2012. So unless 1 of the remaining 240 wants to step up & do a better job in budgeting & negotiations & herding the party cats, then everybody please STFU. You go to battle with the army you have, not the one you want but don't have.

Kevin Davis

With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.

Abraham Lincoln


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