Monday, January 02, 2006

The Campaign Starts

If you watched last night's episode of CBS's popular TV show, Sixty Minutes, you saw what I think is the opening salvo in the Hillary Clinton campaign for president. I have predicted that we will see alot more of Bill in the news and on television in the coming year or two, as Hillary's campaign heats up and this softball treatment of Bill Clinton by the now infamous Dan Rather was a perfect example of what I was predicting. I will be watching this drama unfold over the next two years and will report on it periodically, as I think these people, and the media whores they attract, are fascinating.

link

In case you missed it, here is my take on the segment entitled, "Mr. Clinton's Mission":

The piece was a fluffy treatment of the post-presidential Clinton. Dan Rather's over-fawning treatment of Bill's humanitarian position was almost homo-erotic. The purpose of the segment was to showcase Clinton's humanitarian efforts to solve the third-world AIDs crisis. It purported to explain Clinton's "efforts to stop the pandemic, his relationship with the Bushes, and Hillary's political future". I submit to you all that it was little more than a sorry attempt to use the suffering of worldwide AIDs victims to fuel a commercial for the Hillary for President campaign.

Bill was interviewed by the extremely sympathetic Rather while engaging in his efforts to help the poor in third world countries, especially China, to overcome the disease and the prejudice of the populace to the victims.

Clinton talks to, shakes hands with and (though the commentary says he embraced them, oddly there was no actual footage of this purported embracing), "embraced" the AIDs sufferers in the footage shown. He talks about one particular AIDS sufferer in China who maintains that she was not a drug-user nor a sex-trade worker, having had sex only with her husband. He wonders that this woman is his daughter's age (I suppose he could have said Monica's age...) and feels so bad for her plight. The woman states, sadly, that the people in her village don't understand and that some even stopped talking to her when they found out she was infected. They don't understand? I don't either. AIDs doesn't infect people from sitting on toilet seats and such, so where is the incredulity to this woman's statement of innocence? Nowhere on the face of Bill or Dan, that's for sure.

Of course the segment included the obligatory villain, the US drug companies. Clinton states that he negotiated a very cheap price for AIDS medicines for third world sufferers from a company in India. The price was $230 dollars a year per child (of course this part of the segment focused on the children that were suffering). Clinton contrasted this with the cost at a local Harlem AIDs clinic, to Medicaid, at $10,000 per year. Asked if the drug companies were gouging these people, Clinton said, "Well, in my mind, I think they could sell them for alot less without losing money". No mention of the fact that these poor AIDs sufferers in Harlem weren't paying one cent for this treatment they were receiving, just a diatribe against the companies that spent enormous capital in R&D and have a responsibility to their stockholders to make a profit, when across the world, many countries cap the prices these companies can charge for their products, unfairly raising the prices they must charge here at home.

When, in the beginning of the program, Rather states that as an ex-president, Clinton admittedly couldn't "do" the AIDs crisis as well as his successor and offers this as one of the things that may have prompted him to take on this challenge as an ex-president, one expects to hear Clinton actually admit this in the coming interview. One would have been disappointed. When asked about his inability to do more on the crisis while in office, Clinton blames the congress for the lack of progress:
"Well, I don't think I could have done more. It was like pulling teeth to get any foreign money out of congress when I was there. And when they had a president of their own party and they had their core Christian conservative constituents saying, 'Okay, we want to fight this', then it became much easier. I wish I could have gotten more, but I don't believe I could have." Well, I guess that's Clinton-speak for "I couldn't do this as well as President Bush did after me" but my head is spinning so much after hearing it that I'm not sure what the definition of "is" is. It sounds alot more like Clinton is saying that he wanted to do more for AIDs sufferers but the evil, Christian conservative-oriented Republican congress wouldn't let him.

There really is so much to deconstruct in this "interview" that is interesting and revealing about this important Democrat, but it would take more time than I am willing to devote. The entire text of the segment can be read by clicking the above link, though you will not see the lip-biting and care-worn Clinton nor the worshipful face of Rather by simply reading it. I will skip to the crux of the piece; the afterthought question that Rather throws out after the humanitarian profile of this great man and his heroic and selfless deeds: Does Clinton ever think about flying on Air Force One as the First Husband? This was a nice segway from the discussion about the comforts of the plane itself (Rather asks the tough stuff, ya know).

Clinton's laughing answer is "no". He explains it by saying that a person who is campaigning for office can only be focused on that campaign. In this case he is talking about Hillary's campaign for re-election as Senator of New York. Asked if the country is ready for a woman president, he says, "I don't know. My gut is, yes, that if a woman came across as strong and seasoned and well-prepared, if you said the right things in the right way and you had a good record to back it up, my gut is, yes. But the hard truth is we won't know until it happens."

Now isn't that description exactly what we all want in a good candidate for president? "Strong and seasoned and well-prepared" (sounds like a good description of Thai food), saying "the right things in the right way" and having "a good record to back it up". Personally, I think it sounds more like the recipe for a good actress, than one for a good president but maybe they are one and the same for the Clintons...

16 comments:

camojack said...

WOW! Long post...but good post.

I've discovered the conservative "underground" in Blue (State) Hawaii; more to follow...

Beerme said...

camojack,

Thanks. It was brewing since I saw the show last night. Surreal, it was.

How was caving in Blue Hawaii?

Happy New Year!

Hawkeye® said...

Hahahaha! Good one Beerme. I don't think you meant it that way, but I'm sure Billy boy loves "Thai" food.

What I want to know is how could you watch the whole show without gagging?

Regards,
Hawkeye

mig said...

I sure hope we don't have to live through this and I hope that your predictions are wrong but I know it ain't so deep down. Living through 8 years in Clingonia was enough to make me want to throw myself in front of a train. I sure hope we don't have to listen to him slowly drawling on about nothing. Egad.

Beerme said...

hawkeye®,
Oh boy! No I didn't mean it that way but I bet you're right!
I watched it as if it were a strange phenomenon to evaluate. Really, I was more sickened by Rather than by Clinton.

mmig,
I hope I'm wrong but I expect to see him playing his saxophone again and doing little appearances on variety and talk shows, just Bill havin' fun, y'all!

Maggie said...

Cuzin Beerme,
You brewed up another mighty fine post.
Wishing you a "Happy New Year".

Beerme said...

Thanks, Maggie and a Happy New Year right back atcha!

Just the Facts, Ma'am said...

I still say someone needs to get Hitlery's speech as valedectorian and bring it up to the public. I've not read it, but I recall hearing that it would make Lenin sound like a Christian Conservative. Her true socialist attitude was laid bare. The RNC needs to get it and use it.

Good post Beerme. I don't do "60 Minutes" any more. Even Andy Rooney doesn't sound funny anymore.

camojack said...

Beerme:
Caving in "Blue Hawaii" was good; we started surveying passage in the upper part of the subdivision where we've pretty much cataloged 20+ miles of cave in the lower part...different lava flow event though, so they probably won't connect. They might, however, time (and exploration) will tell...

MargeinMI said...

Totally off topic, but my email sucks.

Do you happen to have a wet saw for cutting marble tile I could borrow?

Beerme said...

Why Margie, yes I do!
What's wrong with your email?

Anyway, just let me know when you need it and when you want to meet and where and we'll make it happen!

I have loaned this saw out to three others in the time I've owned it. It was a great bargain for $100 and so many are benefiting! It works great.

MargeinMI said...

Oh my goodness, now I have a dilema: Libby also has one! I just got done sending him an email accepting his kind offer. And now I have a backup! Too cool.

My Yahoo email is out of control. I've given up on it. It runs incredibly slooooooow, taking about 5 minutes to access and delete a message. Opening pictures or attachments is a joke. I dumped about a billion cookies, and it didn't help at all, so I dumped Yahoo (if it's possible to dump something you get for free ;o).) I do have another email account, but it has issues too, so I haven't shared it yet. Been meaning to email Hawkeye, RPE (our Resident Computer Expert) about it.

I'll keep you posted on the renovations. So far....so good!

heybeerman said...

I'd like to know what you guys think of McCain. As you know I can't stand the Bush Administration, but here is a guy I would vote for and he his conservative...

Beerme said...

I'm afraid John McCain is more of a politician than a conservative. While everyone agrees that the money in politics is corrupting, his solutions are more damaging to our freedoms than the present system is corrupt. As you may know some conservatives have called the Campaign Finance Reform Act, the Incumbent Protection Act, because it ensures that challengers cannot finance a good challenge to incumbents. More importantly it is a restriction on free speech.

Personally, I find McCain to be somewhat insincere but that certainly isn't an uncommon knock on a poltician. He seems to appeal to liberals and "moderates" but many times makes statements that are conservative and sensible even to me. I would probably not vote for him for president but it would depend upon the choices available at the time...

Maggie said...

Cousin Beerme,
Time to get out of your cooler and draft another post.

Beerme said...

Maggie,

Your wish is my commoand! Popped the cork on a new rant today...