Even before the re-emergence of Monica Lewinsky with Thursday’s Vanity Fair article offering her latest take on her affair with Bill Clinton and the ensuing constitutional crisis, stories about the world’s most famous intern had been hovering in the national news for months.
Lewinsky had become a subject of conversation again because of the ongoing debatewithin the Republican Party over how to treat President Clinton’s impeachment if Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016. Back in February, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Monicagate was very much a live issue. Sen. Rand Paul, the supposed GOP youth savior in 2016, also views the Lewinsky affair as a rich line of re-inquiry, having called Bill Clinton a “serial philanderer” who displayed “predatory behavior.”
Karl Rove, meanwhile, said talk of anything impeachment-related would only make a potential GOP candidate look petty. Whether or not it’s wise to do so, some Republican operatives see a potential Hillary candidacy as an opportunity to reintroduce a new generation of voters to some of the more salacious aspects of the first Clinton presidency.
“A huge portion of the electorate that’s going to be her target don’t remember the Clinton administration at all,” said Tim Miller, executive director of the early 2016 super PAC America Rising, in a Talking Points Memo article published a day before Vanity Fair announced its Lewinsky story. “A lot of the negative stuff about the Clinton era has congealed into like a joke or a historical blip, but people don’t remember the details.” Miller, whose group had already begun looking for opposition research on Clinton last year, wants to make sure that these young voters don’t have a “a clouded vision, a nostalgic vision of the Clinton era.” (I reached out to Miller for this story, but he declined to comment.)
The idea of the GOP reintroducing Bill Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky to younger voters may seem pointless and potentially self-damaging. When you dig deeper, it becomes even dumber. More than any other emotion, the millennial generation that would be offered this introduction to the high crimes and misdemeanors of President Clinton are either bored by the story, or view it with the sort of nostalgia that Miller described.
Continue reading “Monica who?”
Don’t believe the pundits.
For the sixth consecutive year, Barack Obama ranks as the Most Admired Man among Americans, and Hillary Clinton is again the Most Admired Woman. The Gallup Poll organization reports that for 2103 both won by comfortable margins.
“Sixteen percent named Obama, compared with 4% each for former
President George W. Bush and Pope Francis; Clinton (15%) finished ahead of television personality Oprah Winfrey (6%), first lady Michelle Obama (5%), and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (5%).
“Each year, Gallup asks Americans to name, in an open-ended format, the man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most. This year’s poll was conducted Dec. 5-8. Obama has won Gallup’s Most Admired Man designation each year since 2008, the year he was elected president. However, similar to his declining job approval rating this year, the percentage naming him fell to 16% from 30% in 2012. The remainder of the top 10 Most Admired men includes three former presidents (Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter) and two religious leaders (the Rev. Billy Graham and Pope Francis). The sitting pope has finished in the top 10 each year since 1977. In addition to Pope Francis, actor, director, and political activist Clint Eastwood and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz finished in the top 10 for the first time. This year’s poll was conducted at the time of South African human rights leader Nelson Mandela’s death. The widespread news coverage of his death helped make him top of mind for many Americans, and 7% named him as Most Admired Man. However, because the question wording specifically asks for the name of a living man or woman, Gallup does not rank deceased figures who are mentioned. Hillary Clinton has been named Most Admired Woman a total of 18 times, more than any other woman in Gallup’s history, including each of the last 12 years. Clinton first won the distinction in 1993, when she was first lady, and has continued to rank at or near the top of the list while serving in a variety of public roles including as U.S. senator and as secretary of state. The 15% naming her this year is down from 21% last year and is the lowest figure for her since 2006. Continue reading “Barack and Hillary win again in 2013”
Hillary Clinton still leads the field of contenders from both parties for the U.S. presidency in 2016, but her lead is softening. As FiveThirtyEight reports “The controversies surrounding the I.R.S.’s targeting of conservative groups and the executive branch’s handling of last year’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have yet to have much impact on President Obama’s approval ratings (although some slight decline may be hidden by an improved economic mood). But Mr. Obama’s former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, appears to be have been more affected.
“A Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday found Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating declining to 52 percent, from 61 percent in February. The decrease was considerably more modest in a CNN poll released earlier this month, with Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating decreasing to 61 percent from 63 percent in March. Nevertheless, Mrs. Clinton’s favorability scores had hovered in the mid-60s for much of the past two years — and those lofty ratings appear to be a thing of the past. So, are Americans carefully parsing through the details of the Benghazi attack — and finding Mrs. Clinton more culpable than Mr. Obama?
“It’s easy to be popular when nobody is criticizing you — and there was a long period, from the closing stages of the 2008 campaign through most of her tenure as secretary of state, when Republicans had little interest in attacking Mrs. Clinton directly. Now that Republicans have chosen to engage her again, her numbers are coming down. The largest decline in her ratings, as Ed Kilgore noted, has come from Republican voters, with a more modest decline among independents and almost none at all among Democrats. This is what happens when a politician returns to being in the partisan fray after having drifted above it for some time.
But if Mrs. Clinton were to run for president in 2016, Republicans would undoubtedly have found any number of other ways to criticize her — from her policy proposals, to concerns about her age or health, to gaffes that she might make on the campaign trail, to controversies recycled from her tenure as secretary of state.”
More at: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/predictable-decline-in-hillary-clintons-popularity/
The story revealing that FreedomWorks produced a video with an obscene scene featuring a giant panda, Hillary Clinton, and oral sex created quite a stir and, according to former officials of the influential tea party group, had staffers at the conservative advocacy group and super-PAC “freaking out,” as one put it, reports Mother Jones.
“That was to be expected, especially since FreedomWorks is the target of an internal investigation mounted by its board of trustees after board members received “allegations of wrongdoing by the organization or its employees,” according to a letter the board sent in December to Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks. Continue reading “More on Hillary and the panda”