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Jewish World Review May 29, 2003 / 27 Iyar, 5763

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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Liberal author documents Clinton's wasted second term | A second term is a terrible thing for a president to waste. Sidney Blumenthal's new book, " The Clinton Wars ", makes clear how totally Bill Clinton wasted it. He was a one-term president who lived in the White House for eight years.

The Clinton Wars speaks not about the war on terror or the war on drugs or even the war on poverty. Instead, it's about the wars that occupied Clinton in his second term: on Paula Jones, on Kenneth Starr, on the Washington Post's Susan Schmidt, on Matt Drudge, on Clinton's women and the war to get Hillary into the Senate.

For those who haven't plumbed the depths of the Clintons' denial mechanisms and their obsession with petty revenge, Blumenthal's book offers a road map into their distorted perceptions of reality. Like an account of a hallucination, he takes us into a world where Monica Lewinsky blackmails Clinton into sex, Whitewater is the epitome of innocence and Starr the personification of evil.

In Bill's and Hillary's world, no accusation is too ridiculous to make against their enemies, no transparent fraud of their own too obvious to attempt to conceal and no justified criticism too reasonable to resent. The roster of those who maliciously attack Clintons' virtue is so long that it makes President Nixon's enemies list seem trivial by comparison. Only the list of the Mikado's Lord High Executioner is longer.

Hillary's own book is due out next month. The platitudes that are likely to festoon the former First Lady/presidential wanabee's book are not the real Hillary: Sidney's book is her true voice. In a world in which ghostwriters assist celebrity authors in their memoirs, this book is an odd role reversal. Here, Hillary is the ghost putting her prejudices, animosities, biases, resentments, fulminations, and paranoid mutterings in Sidney's mouth.

Hillary needed someone to affirm her credentials as a New York Yankee fan, so Blumenthal obliged. She wanted a benign description of her acceptance of the need to have a special prosecutor, so his book portrays her as philosophically accepting it. (By contrast, both George Stephanopoulous and I recall her obstinate refusal and tearful ranting against the appointment.) Mrs. Clinton needed to affirm that she was the author of It Takes A Village so Blumenthal attests to it, despite the fact that her ghost writer was paid $120,000. Hillary wants to grab some undeserved credit for the Irish peace process, so Blumenthal obligingly informs us that her "work" made it all possible.

Anything that needs doing, Blumenthal does in this book, like he did in the White House. This 800-page job application for a job in a Hillary White House shows his willingness to buy any line she hands out and treats it as gospel. One can imagine Sidney as her Bob Haldeman, sitting across the Oval Office desk, willing to do anything she wants, copying down her most delusional and paranoid proposals and seeing them through to full implementation.

Blumenthal's gullibility is his chief asset. When Bill Clinton says Monica was stalking him, he nods his assent. When Hillary adds, helpfully, that her husband was just ministering to a troubled child, he faithfully parrots her line.

When Clinton asks Blumenthal to comment on my advice to Clinton to tell the truth, he automatically assumes that Clinton is doing so already and says, innocently, how "wacky" it is to admit to something you didn't do.

Blumenthal even quotes Hillary quoting Bill that "we just have to win," as his answer on how to handle the Monica mess. That's the same line Clinton said to me, verbatim, which he claimed not to remember saying in his answer to discovery requests from the House impeachment managers.

Blumenthal is incredibly bright. He knew that he was going to leave journalism after the election and work for the Clintons. Every week or two, he and I would meet and discuss the latest spin to put on events and the campaign debate. He was in regular contact with me and with the Clintons, writing speeches, throwing out ideas, formulating slogans throughout the 1996 campaign. He would even ask Bob Dole key questions and report back his answers. Since I worked with him first hand, it's hard to believe that he suddenly turned dumb.

What is shocking about his book is how little time he spent using his formidable intellectual powers on anything other than spin, scandal, and sleaze. Apart from coordinating the occasional conference on The Third Way, he seems to have never touched public policy.

We read of his work with Hillary in the White House theater, using taxpayer resources and publicly paid staff for prepare herself to announce for the Senate. But we hear nothing of any work on the people's business. Was he out of the loop? I doubt it. The point is that there was no loop. The White House was closed throughout the second term.

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, "Power Plays: Top 20 Winning and Losing Strategies of History's Great Political Leaders" Comment by clicking here.


05/16/03: Early Democrat handicapping for 2004
05/14/03: Gephardt: AWOL
04/30/03: Prez can lose
04/25/03: My message to Putin: Call President Bush
04/23/03: NO OIL FOR BLOOD
04/21/03: The war that network news lost in Iraq
04/15/03: Media meltdown
04/10/03: Giving government a good name
04/03/03: Polls' message to Bush: Relax and win the war
03/31/03: Bomb as you need
03/28/03: The strong grow weak through inhibition
03/26/03: Carping pessimism of TV anchors and interviewers fails to give Americans a sense of defeatism
03/17/03: Poll: Get on with it
03/13/03: It's time for U.S. to play hardball at U.N.
03/10/03: The whole (Hispanic) world is watching
03/07/03: Anti-war errors
03/05/03: Domino theory II: Toppling Mideast despots
03/03/03: Europe's triangulators: Chirac and Blair
02/27/03: Invasion? More like a coup
02/21/03: The first casualty of Iraq war: Liberal credibility
02/19/03: Old Europe's last hurrah
02/14/03: Corzine throws down gauntlet on Wall St. fraud
02/12/03: An exile deal for Saddam
02/07/03: The Dems give up the House
02/05/03: France: Saddam's ally
02/03/03: War critics will suffer
02/30/03: Even by Clinton standards, it's sheer chutzpah
01/24/03: Rebirth of the balanced budget Republican
01/22/03: Next to Bubba, Dubya's got it good
01/16/03: End racism in affirmative action
01/13/03: The new swing voter
01/10/03: Political e-mailing comes of age
01/07/03: In Dem race: Home field no advantage
12/31/02: Hey, Hillary: Want to appear like a stateswomyn? Stay silent
12/19/02: Kerry in the lead
12/19/02: Lieberman the frontrunner
12/17/02: In defense of Lott
12/02/02: An issue for Bush: Drugs
11/27/02: Women gone wobbly?
11/25/02: The U.N. over a barrel
11/15/02: Gore's suicide
11/15/02 One-party control is an illusion
11/13/02 The House of Extremes
11/08/02 I have egg on my face
11/01/02 Is Bush losing control over events?
10/25/02What is causing Bush's free fall?
10/25/02: Anybody sense a trend?
10/23/02: A deadline for Iraq
10/18/02: Only sure bet of 2002 elections is voter angst
10/16/02: Endangered incumbents
10/11/02: Why multilateralism doesn't work
10/09/02: Hey, Dems: Believe NYTimes polling at your own risk
10/03/02: Dem suicide: Let's count the ways
09/30/02: The Dems just can't stop themselves
09/26/02: The perils of polling
09/19/02: W. boxed in the U.N.
09/19/02: Welfare reform: Keep on keeping on
09/12/02: Are Dems insane on Iraq?
09/09/02: Twin shadows of Election '02
09/05/02: GOP should triangulate
08/28/02: Trust the military
08/22/02: It's not the economy, stupid
08/09/02: As America unites, Gore goes divisive
08/01/02: Bush must focus on big picture
07/23/02: Election 2002: Advantage Dems
07/19/02: Rudy for SEC tough cop
07/17/02: The investor strike
07/15/02: Door open for drug testing students --- go for it, GOP!
07/12/02: Dubya looking out for No. 1?
07/03/02: The DNA war for Bush's soul
06/21/02: Why are conservatives winning?
06/19/02: Learning to love the feds
06/14/02: Hey, journalists and Dems: Dubya is doing just fine
06/12/02: It's terrorism, stupid!
06/10/02: Sanctions are a potent weapon
06/04/02: Al Qaeda's more dangerous new front
05/31/02: Why '04 looks tough for liberal Dems
05/24/02: Democratic self-destruction
05/22/02: The Clinton failures
05/15/02: Pataki positioned to win
05/08/02: A wakeup-call for American Jewry
05/03/02: Give Bush back his focus
05/01/02: Immigration fault li(n)es
04/25/02: It's the war, stupid
04/17/02: Bush goes small bore
04/12/02: Bush must be a gentle partisan
04/10/02: In defense of polling
04/08/02: Focus on Iraq, not the Palestinians
04/01/02: Only Internet will bring real campaign finance reform
03/27/02: Where W's drawn a line in the sand
03/22/02: Enron scandal will not trigger a wave of economic populism
03/20/02: Term-limited --- by war
03/15/02: Europe doesn't have a clue
03/11/02: Bush popularity = GOP win?
03/01/02: Will America be forced to chase its tail in its war on terrorism?
02/27/02: The Arafat/Saddam equilibrium must be destroyed
02/21/02: Campaign finance reform won't hurt GOPers
02/13/02: Dodd scurries for cover
02/11/02: U.S. 'unilateralism'? The Europeans don't have a case
02/06/02: WAR: What women want
02/01/02: They all talk in the end
01/30/01: The odd couple: Chris Dodd and Arthur Andersen
01/22/01: His father's son? Bush better get an 'Act II' fast!
01/18/01: Dubya & the 'vision thing'
01/14/01: The Rumsfeld Doctrine 01/03/01: A President Gore would have been a disaster
01/03/02: Clinton's priority: Political correctness over fighting terror
12/27/01: Terror network grew out of Clinton's inaction, despite warnings
12/24/01: Call 'em back, George
12/18/01: What Bush did right
12/13/01: Libs worry too much
12/11/01: "Open Sesame": Feinstein's proposed bill allows 100,000 non-immigrant students from anti-American countries to our shores
12/07/01: The non-partisan president
12/05/01: Both parties are phony on stimulus debate
11/29/01: When terrorists can enter legally, it's time to change the laws
11/21/01: Go for the jugular!
11/16/01: You are all incumbents
11/14/01: Clinton's failure to mobilize America to confront foreign terror after the 1993 attack led directly to 9-11 disaster
11/12/01: To the generals: Don't worry about losing support
11/08/01: The death of the white liberal
11/07/01: Our leaders are being transformed in a way unprecedented in post-World War II history

© 2002, Dick Morris