What would be a miracle?
Bill Clinton, interviewed by Charlie Rose said, "'It would be a miracle if Hillary wins in Iowa, and I'm not just low-balling you.'" He said John Edwards might well win -- which would certainly be preferable, from the Clintons' perspective, to an Obama win." However, the former President also said Hillary was far better qualified that Obama, saying "it's not even close" and emphasizing the so-called experience gap by saying the public might as well choose "a television commentator" who would have just "one year less" experience in national office than Obama. Always the avuncular, genial soul of wit, Bill Clinton saved the worst digs for the last.
Later he said that his friends in the Republican party had indicated that they felt his wife would be the strongest candidate, partly because she had already been "vetted" -- another subtle slap at Obama. ...
He attributed his wife's decline in Iowa to the press overplaying her poor answer to one debate question on driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Clinton did say that he gets "tickled" watching Obama because of his attractiveness and political skills. "I like all these people," he said. "I have nothing bad to say about him or anyone else."
Bill and Hillary's renewed emphasis on being her being "vetted" suggests that, declarations to the contrary, the Clinton campaign has not yet taken its secret weapons off the table -- just positioning them for a better thrust. After some experimentation they understand there are better and worse ways to stick in the knife. Using third parties to hit Obama has apparently backfired. So now she's playing the I'm-cleared-but-can-you-be game. We don't know what dirty secret Hillary's got up her sleeve, but if the religious and chemical hints foreshadow the hell she can unleash, it must be pretty corrosive stuff indeed.
Could Hillary be bluffing? The one person who knows for sure is Barack Obama. If it's a bluff then Obama will eventually call it. If it isn't a bluff then Hillary is counting on it inhibiting Obama in some meaningful way. The problem is that unleashing such potent ordnance means there will be a lot of collateral damage within the party. The two subjects of innuendo -- Islam and drugs -- are fault lines that could rip that ole' big tent right down the middle. It's use will open up a new phase of bloodletting in the Democratic party in which Obama may give as good as he gets -- and in both those departments too. Edwards of course, stands to benefit in relative terms by watching the Clash of Titans. But even he may not escape the damage to the Democrat party as a whole if a full scale campaign of negatives breaks out.
But maybe it's already too late. Washington's years of business as usual is bound to leave its mark. Maybe there's so much dry tinder it doesn't matter where the spark starts. The Washington Post reports that a large part of the Clinton Library's funding came from Saudi Arabia.
Bill Clinton's presidential library raised more than 10 percent of the cost of its $165 million facility from foreign sources, with the most generous overseas donation coming from Saudi Arabia, according to interviews yesterday.
The royal family of Saudi Arabia gave the Clinton facility in Little Rock about $10 million, roughly the same amount it gave toward the presidential library of George H.W. Bush, according to people directly familiar with the contributions.
The Clinton library has steadfastly declined to reveal its donors, saying they were promised confidentiality. The William J. Clinton Foundation, which funds the library, is considered a charity whose contributors can remain anonymous. ...
"As president, he was beloved around the world, so it should come as no surprise that there has been an outpouring of financial support from around the world to sustain his post-presidential work," a foundation statement said....