Unabashedly pro-Hillary journalist Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women, about the 2008 campaign, has a modest proposal for Hillary Clinton: ditch Bill. The New Republic scribe writes writes:
The day that Hillary conceded the 2008 primaries, I rode the train back from Washington to New York with another political journalist. We wondered, then, about the possibility that Clinton might someday run for president again. At that moment, with tempers in the Democratic Party still blazing, it seemed awfully remote. But, we agreed, we could both picture it. There was just one big piece of baggage she’d need to lose first: Bill.
We weren’t advocating for divorce, per se. Let’s just say that we were speculating about ways that she might meaningfully disassociate herself, professionally and politically, from her ever-lovin’ husband, the man who, during the course of her recently concluded campaign, had made more trouble than he was worth.
I am all for every tub standing on its own bottom, but really without Bill, what are Mrs. Clinton's assets?
Mrs. Clinton casts herself as a feminist trailblazer. Let's look at this. It can’t be denied that she was given the health care portfolio, which she notoriously botched, in the first Clinton administration because she was married to the president.
After making a hash of that, she was elected senator from the state of New York, a state in which she had not yet been domiciled, while still first lady. She arguably became a senator because voters felt bad about her humiliation in the Monica Lewinsky affair. She was an okay senator, a not so hot candidate for the presidency in 2008, but then she became secretary of state. In that capacity, she logged in unprecedented flying time, while the world became less safe by the day. I am not seeing presidential calibre independent achievements here.
When it appeared that President Obama’s re-election was in jeopardy, it was Bill, not Hill, to the rescue. Bill gave a stem-winder at the Democratic convention that was enormously important to Barack Obama's being re-elected. Shortly after being re-elected, President Obama sat down with Hillary Clinton, by now ready to leave State, for a televised love fest in which he praised her tenure at State. That interview was seen in many quarters as not unrelated to Bill's bailing out President Obama's campaign and also perhaps not unreleated to Mrs. Clinton's presidential aspirations. (If either Hillary or Bill had an inkling that al-Qaeda was not on the run, neither let on.)
Moreover, one of the rationales for a Hillary Clinton presidency is that the first Clinton administration was a time of prosperity. Would this theme remain operative if Bill were ditched? Even as she almost daily rejects another of Bill Clinton's policies, Hillary certainly knows that the memory of his economic success is one of her strongest cards.
I suspect what Traister wants most to obscure Mrs. Clinton’s connection with the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation: oh, that’s just Bill out there raising millions of dollars in questionable ways and seeing his speaking fees skyrocket when his wife becomes the nation’s top diplomat. That scamp! Has nothing to do with Miz Hillary, doncha know?
While I understand that Bill hasn't been performing well lately, it does seems a bit heartless to want to dump him, now that he is just a bit rusty.