Two Peas in a Pod: Obama, Hillary Pal It Up
Hours after FBI refuses to indict Clinton, president endorses with oozing praise
Mere hours after his FBI director determined she would not be prosecuted for using her own email server as secretary of state, President Obama slopped a political wet kiss on Hillary Clinton, jetting her down to a boisterous rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, aboard Air Force One.
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Did the many signals he’d sent about his preferences in the case — from announcing this campaign event last week to fully embracing Clinton’s candidacy while she was under FBI investigation — influence FBI Director James Comey’s decision? Maybe not overtly, though we can’t rule it out. But at the very least, the predilections of the boss must have had a subtle effect on the thinking of the employees — especially one who hopes to keep his job until 2022.
Obama’s inappropriate Hillary boosterism is just the beginning of his massive campaign on behalf of the one person who he has concluded can protect, and perhaps expand, his legacy.
Either way, Obama’s inappropriate Hillary boosterism is just the beginning of his planned massive campaign on behalf of the one person who he has concluded can protect, and perhaps expand, his legacy.
For Clinton, Obama is the indispensable man, the political magician who gives her credibility with voters and can spark the enthusiasm she so pathetically fails to generate. He is her personal character witness, the one who can convince the electorate that she can do the job and perhaps even get through eight years without being impeached even if she deserves to be — like he did.
No wonder during the Charlotte event she was slathering it on.
“As we went from political rivals, to partner, to friend, my esteem for him just kept growing, and so did my admiration for his brilliant wife, Michelle, and those two amazing daughters they have raised,” she said. “I happen to think those two young women may be the most impressive accomplishment of all of the president.”
Obama clothes her in substance, which she needs desperately, because she is truly an emperor with no clothes. Clinton somehow glided through eight years in the Senate and four as secretary of state without any notable achievements — unless uncorking the ISIS genie with misadventures like the bombing of Libya count as achievements. The best-known aspects of her record are the panorama of scandals and conflicts of interest she and her husband have engaged in over their decades of polluting American politics with their corruption. She needs Obama like a recovering alcoholic prone to constant relapses needs their mentor.
Obama is the man who can get the band back on the road for a successful revival tour, barnstorming college campuses where he is loved and stirring passion among youthful voters who look at Hillary as the grandmother you’re forced to visit who puts plastic over the furniture. Having connected to Bernie Sanders voters long before Bernie did, he will reassure them that Hillary is well versed in the Saul Alinsky playbook and will stick it to The Man, advance the rights of any groups whose rights haven’t been sufficiently advanced, and recast the Supreme Court as the Soviet Politburo, minus the Glasnost.
During his remarks on Charlotte, he repeatedly hammered home Hillary’s credibility for the base. “If your concern is working people … a woman cleaning a hotel room … then this is not even a choice,” he bellowed. He described her “compassion” and “how deeply she believes in the things she fights for” — all the qualities voters suspect Clinton lacks.
For Bill Clinton, Obama had dug a special, deep well of contempt.
Given his longstanding antagonism toward the Clintons, the grandstanding for Clinton was not preordained. But as with everything about Obama, it’s all about him. And he’ll do anything for Obama. Even bury the hatchet with the Clintons — the same hatchet he buried in them in 2008.
Just eight years ago, then-Sen. Barack Obama was the usurper, rudely claiming the crown and spoiling the coronation that was supposed to be Hillary’s. Obama, leader of a populist left-wing community organized to dethrone the Establishment, recoiled from the tacky Clintons, who had long ago been bought and paid for by the Ruling Class. A distinct underdog, he knew he could beat her, having nothing but contempt for her political skills. “You’re likable enough, Hillary,” he sneered dismissively during a 2008 debate in New Hampshire.
For Bill Clinton, Obama had dug a special, deep well of contempt. Clinton’s was the kind of small-thinking, moderate Democrat presidency that a radical change-maker like Obama would sweep into the dustbin of history. Clinton didn’t even measure up to the hated Ronald Reagan. “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not,” Obama said during the 2008 campaign.
After Clinton called Obama’s record on Iraq “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen,” the Obama campaign was somehow able to translate this into a racist remark as the campaigns descended on South Carolina, where the black vote predominates in the Democratic primary. For Clinton, hailed as “the first black president” before the country got an actual black president, this was unforgivable stuff. Or nearly unforgivable.
But after defeating Hillary in the primaries and brushing aside John McCain in the general election, Obama had an epiphany, one that ripples down to this day. The Clintons were powerful and useful. Best not to alienate them — primary challenges are the graveyards of incumbent presidential campaigns — and perhaps they could come in handy. And so he made her secretary of state, even though she was thoroughly unqualified for the job. Not since George W. Bush tried to name his personal attorney Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court or Caligula appointed his horse the Roman Senate has a nomination made so little sense.
Today, the relationship between Obama and the Clintons remains cool, but his move to drop her in the cabinet at least kept things on speaking terms. Both Clinton and Obama during their Charlotte remarks seemed at pains to emphasize how their mutual admiration had supposedly grown — how their familiarity bred a lack of contempt.
And now, a relationship predicated on mutual need will be running all summer and fall as the latest big-time buddy movie. And with the threat of an indictment safely tucked into bed, Democrats don’t expect this particular Thelma and Louise to end up driving off a cliff.