Bill Clinton is one of the most gifted politicians of his generation. So how to explain his rookie mistakes in his recent interview with NBC’s Cynthia McFadden? The former president addressed the controversy about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation while his wife was Secretary of State by saying “we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate,” a line sure to evoke memories of his previous semantic gymnastics about the meaning of the word “is.” He went on to assert that nobody who gave money to him ever tried to influence her. How does he know? Because Hillary, the woman only 25 percent of Americans believe to be “ honest and straightforward” according to the NBC/WSJ poll released yesterday, told him so! When asked if he planned to continue giving speeches at $500,000 a pop, Clinton said financial necessity drove him to do so — “I gotta pay our bills.” Has the multimillionaire forgotten the trouble Hillary got in last year when she justified her speaking fees by saying she and her husband had been “dead broke” when they left the White House?
Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle wonders if “the famed Clinton campaign skills aren’t a bit out of date.” The panel on Fox News’ Special Report last night mused that the former president might be a little “rusty.” That may be the explanation for these obvious gaffes. But I am beginning to think that as disturbing as the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency is to conservatives, it is even more distressing on some level to her husband. His freedom curtailed, his finances scrutinized, his legacy forever compared to, and undone by, hers, his impeachment standing out as a singular disgrace over which she has triumphed? Who has the biggest personal stake it Hillary Clinton never becoming president? It may be her husband.
Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles in Action.