Make all the Jimmy Carter jokes you want, but the only time I remember sitting on a gas line like this was when Richard M. Nixon (or, as Archie Bunker used to call him, "Richard E. Nixon") was president. It was 1973 and we thought the world was coming to an end. But...OK, actually in a way it probably was.
The former president has been widely criticized for accepting a $2 million payment last fall for a visit to Japan sponsored by that country's largest media conglomerate, provoking assertions, even among Republicans, that he put the presidency up for sale.
Yes, that is outrageous when an ex-president can pocket that much money for giving a speech. Ironically, that quote has nothing to do with Bill Clinton, or the bruhaha over the $109 million that he and his wife have earned in a few short years since leaving the White House. It's from a February 1990 Boston Globe article about Ronald Reagan, who opened the floodgates to big post-presidential bucks. (Shockingly, there wasn't much economic demand for the three who came before him: Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon.).
I was going to put in an exclamation point, except I expected the Clintons' income would be somewhere around there.
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made fun of herself Thursday, telling "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno she almost didn't make it to his studio.
"It is so great to be here, I was so worried I wasn't going to make it. I was pinned down by sniper fire," Clinton said after joining him onstage, referring to her claims - since disputed - that she dodged sniper bullets while arriving in Bosnia as first lady. Clinton later said she had "misspoke."
Honestly, if Obama showed up at his next rally dressed exactly like this, it probably STILL wouldn't be enough for the likes of Time's Joe Klein, who's here to tell us:
But there was still something missing. I noticed it during Obama's response to a young man who remembered how the country had come together after Sept. 11 and lamented "the dangerously low levels of patriotism and pride in our country, the loss of faith in our elected officials." Obama used this, understandably, to go after George W. Bush. "Cynicism has become the hot stock," he said, "the growth industry during the Bush Administration." He talked about the Administration's mendacity, its incompetence during Hurricane Katrina, its lack of transparency. But he never returned to the question of patriotism. He never said, "But hey, look, we're Americans. This is the greatest country on earth. We'll rise to the occasion."
Well, if that doesn't prove he's the Manchurian candidate, Klein adds:
"In this campaign, we will not stand for the politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon," he said on the night that he lost Ohio and Texas. But then he added, "I owe what I am to this country, this country that I love, and I will never forget it." That has been the implicit patriotism of the Obama candidacy: only in America could a product of Kenya and Kansas seek the presidency. It is part of what has proved so thrilling to his young followers, who chanted, "U-S-A, U-S-A," the night that he won the Iowa caucuses. But now, to convince those who doubt him, Obama has to make the implicit explicit. He will have to show that he can be as corny as he is cool.
"I know what it means to get knocked down. But I've never stayed down, and I never will. Let me tell you something - when it comes to finishing the fight, Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never quit. I never give up."-- Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia yesterday.
Except that Rocky loses.
His poll number is now higher than his bowling score. Meanwhile, Hillary's Bosnia flap not so popular -- nor is Ed Rendell.