Would It Be Worthwhile For Bill Clinton To Discuss Hillary’s Role in His Administration?

For better or worse, Hillary Clinton's political image is largely dominated by her tenure as First Lady. It seems fairly clear that Hillary was a key, if not the key, advisor to President Clinton on many many issues. And while Tim Russert's questions on documents from the period is not really an attempt to shed light on this, it is rather more of the same gotcha nonsense, it does inadvertently get to a lot of questions about Hillary.

In today's WaPo, Michael Kinsley writes:

[First ladies] must have a better understanding of how the presidency works than all but half a dozen people in the world. One of those half a dozen is Hillary Clinton, who saw it all — well, she apparently missed one key moment — and shared in all the big decisions. Every first lady is promoted as her husband's key adviser, closest confidant, blah, blah, blah, but in the case of the Clintons, it seems to be true.

That seems true to me. But here's the thing – my recollection of the Clinton years had Hillary supposedly playing the liberal in the lion's den of Centrists role in the Clinton Administration. I'll never forget the reaction of Peter and Marian Wright Edelman to welfare reform. Peter resigned his post and Marian Wright Edelman made sure everyone understood how she felt personally betrayed by HILLARY, not Bill. Hillary was to be the liberal conscience of the Clinton Administration. How time changes images. Now Hillary's supposed liberal past is long forgotten. For those who favor DLCism, this is a sign of Hillary's good sense. For those who disfavor it, it proves hillary is a corporatist sellout DLCer. This is a central question about Hillary Clinton. Who could best answer this question? I believe Bill Clinton would be that person. I think it would help us all, and probably mostly Hillary Clinton, if he and Hillary were to discuss her role and views on the Clinton Administration and the issues faced at the time. Release of documents to add to this telling would be even better. I think it is time to tell the story – not of the personal lives of the clintons – but the public policy lives of the the Clintons. Tell us what Hillary did, said, advised and thought. To me it is the most interesting and relevant question of the entire campaign.


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    • on November 24, 2007 at 16:54

    But, will it matter? Considering all the hate for Hillary Clinton expressed in liberal blogs I’m not sure that releasing those records will make any difference.  

  1. We might get an idea to how closely the two worked together and what influence she had as first lady.  Then again, that might open another can of worms.

  2. as far as Hillary’s candidacy and Bill….when are the RW going to release the hounds and bring up Monica.

    Does anyone think they won’t?

    I think that is one of the reasons the RW want her as the candidate.

    • Pluto on November 24, 2007 at 17:12

    But not until she wins the nomination. And not unless she’s in trouble.

    • documel on November 24, 2007 at 17:24

    No matter what they would say about her role, no one would believe it.  They’d say its politically motivated–and that would be true.  History is always revised by the protagonists–in their favor.  

    I don’t hate Hillary, I hate the liberals that promise not to vote for her in the general election.

  3. as i am in no way a political expert, not even an amateur really, just an interested observor of the theatre of the absurd, my gut feeling is that it would be the kiss of death for a Hillary nomination.

    The MSM, despite the disrepute in which they are held on liberal blogs, reach a lot of people and the like of Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan and all the rest of the vultures would have a feast day.

    But what do I know.

    • oculus on November 24, 2007 at 19:17

    fole when she blasted Obama for saying his childhood years in Indonesia constituted experience towards foreign policy.  Perhaps she and Bill are already planning to say more on what her role was.  I’d be surprised if they got into specifics though.  

  4. It might also be the real answer to this Thanksgiving table question: “So, if you think that HRC knows so much about stuff from being with Bill in the WH, why don’t you have your wife argue cases in the Court of Appeals? You’ve been together for almost 30 years.  She must know all about stuff, too.”  Clever F*cker.


  5. take some of the blood off of Hillary’s hands as an enabler of the Iraq war?

    Didn’t think so.

    I’m never voting for her. It’s not even a gut thing. It’s just that I am never voting for someone who would compromise her principles to the extent she has just to position herself politically.

    I am NEVER voting for her. If she gets the nomination, then I won’t vote for president if there is no third party candidate.

    It’s just a matter of principle in a time of war.

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