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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What's Gotten Into Bill?

Six months ago, Bill Clinton seemed to be settling comfortably into roles befitting a silver-maned former president: statesman, philanthropist, philosopher-king. Now he has put all that high-mindedness on hold -- maybe it was never such a great fit, after all -- to co-star in his wife Hillary's campaign as a coldblooded political hit man.

No, scratch the "coldblooded" part. At times, in his attempt to cut Barack Obama down to size, Bill Clinton has been red-faced with anger; his rhetoric about voter suppression and a great big "fairy tale" has been way over the top. This doesn't look and sound like mere politics. It seems awfully personal.

Obama's candidacy not only threatens to obliterate the dream of a Clinton Restoration. It also fundamentally calls into question Bill Clinton's legacy by making it seem . . . not really such a big deal.

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