I was going to blog today about Mitt Romney and his supposedly landmark speech on religion, but, in my humble opinion, it turned into such a bust, such a political toeing-of-the-line--as compared to JFK's talk to the Southern Baptist ministers years ago, where the guy basically told them a)he wasn't controlled by the Pope and b) religion had nothing to do with running for President. Romney told his carefully assembled audience (JFK's group was a highly skeptical one) that since the Founders had written religion into government, who was he to change that?
Well, yeah--they also wrote in a ridiculous electoral college voting system and many of them kept slaves and George Washington hated to shake hands, preferring to bow. Mitt should start bowing on the campaign trail--George did.
Well, enough. I much prefer yesterday's Huffington Post interview with Gennifer Flowers, who was at the scandalous epicenter of Bill Clinton's run for the presidency in 1992. Flowers, today, as then, a chanteuse--she is currently working in a revue called "Bottom's Up!" in Vegas--opines that she might vote for Hillary. ("I can't help but want to support my own gender, and she's as experienced as any of the others, except maybe Joe Biden.")
We have yet to have any real sexual scandal in the 2008 race--we may get into it a bit more with Rudy G. and his "trysts" with Judy Nathan on New York city's bill while he was married to Donna Hanover. But, so far, nothing like 1992.
After getting a strong start in the primaries, Clinton's candidacy had nearly collapsed in New Hampshire after numerous revelations about his womanizing.
Gossip had swirled around Clinton in this regard for years. An Arkansas State trooper who was part of Clinton’s bodyguard swore he had heard Hillary yell one night: “I need to be fucked more than twice a year!” Republicans sleaze-meisters whispered that Clinton had had a child with a black woman. In 1990, a lawsuit (later dismissed) had been filed by a disgruntled Arkansas state employee claiming that Clinton had had relationships with five different women. Other rumors accused him of rape and of feeling up a woman in the bathroom at his own wedding.
The only sexual misconduct charge that was to stick to Clinton for the moment was that he had had an affair with singer and former Arkansas state employee Flowers of whom he reportedly said, “She could suck a mole through a garden hose.” After the “smoking bimbo” revelation in the Star tabloid—Gennifer had taped phone conversations with Clinton—the Arkansas Governor was met at every campaign stop by what his staff called “the clusterfuck:” a semi-circle of reporters with microphones shouting leading questions at him.”
But Clinton, appearing on the television news show “Sixty Minutes” with Hillary, admitted only that he caused “pain in my marriage” and thus managed to escape unscathed—as he was to do on the issues of smoking marijuana (incredibly, he said he “didn’t inhale”) and draft-dodging back in the sixties (“dodge” was perhaps too strong a word, but he had avoided military service until he lucked into a high draft lottery number).
So Clinton was indeed the Comeback Kid, although to Republicans he was “Slick Willie.” They hated him passionately and almost hysterically, the way Democrats loathed Richard Nixon. One wealthy Republican businessman in Chicago spent 40,000 dollars at the beginning of the campaign unsuccessfully digging for dirt that would torpedo Clinton. It did little good—Clinton jumped out to 13 point lead in the polls after Labor Day. Desperate Republicans strategists even asked two aides to Great Britain Prime Minister John Major, who had won despite a weak economy and poor personal ratings, for advice. (Their only suggestion, which was not taken, was to plaster pictures of Gennifer Flowers on huge billboards all over the country above the words AND NOW HE WANTS TO SCREW THE COUNTRY, TOO.)
And now Hillary is running for President. And Gennifer might vote for her. What a wonderful country we live in.