Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Does Hillary Have a Bill Problem? Not Nearly as Much as Jeb Has a George Problem

While the country waits for Hillary Clinton to shit or get off the pot, a recent piece by David Frum in the Atlantic raises a potential dilemma for the prohibitive Democratic front runner. That dilemma is her husband.

Frum points out, and correctly so, that if Jeb Bush manages to win the Republican nomination, Democrats "won't let voters forget" that his brother was at the helm when the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression started. And the moment they do that Republicans will be only to happy to point out that the seeds of that crisis were planted during the Clinton years when Glass-Steagall was repealed and regulations that prevented federally insured banks from trading derivatives were either eased or lifted altogether.

There's some truth to this. The Titanic sinking was the greatest maritime disaster of all time. And while most historians rightly focus on the negligent way in which the liner was navigated, the genesis of the disaster actually began a decade earlier when the British Board of Trade opted not to require steamship companies to carry enough lifeboats for all on board. Had the Board revised its regulations, 1,500 people would likely not have frozen to death in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic that fateful night.

But Frum conveniently overlooks the other glaring shortcomings of the Bush presidency: such as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the huge tax cuts that turned a $300 billion surplus into a $1.4 trillion deficit. And then there's the approval rating of both men. Bush remains extremely unpopular while Bill is still admired by many. I'm not saying Bill will get a pass; there are a great many people on both ends of the political spectrum that are fed up with the cozy relationship between Washington and Wall Street. And then there's that Monsanto connection. That's a scab just waiting to be picked. But when push comes to shove, I'll bet the mortgage George will have a whole lot more skeletons in his closet than Bill.

And that means in the handicap department, Jeb's got a huge lead over Hillary.

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