Democrats Finally Realizing Bill Clinton Is Bad

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It took them a minute, but Democrats are finally realizing that Bill Clinton is bad.

The New York Times, using an uncharacteristically blunt headline, “No One Wants to Campaign With Bill Clinton Anymore,” reports that Clinton has only appeared at a “handful of private fund-raisers” for midterm candidates because he seems to invite more trouble than help.

In recent years, the public has come to reckon with the fact that Clinton has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by four women, and, as the most powerful man in the world, had an affair with a 22-year-old White House intern. Clinton hasn’t done himself any favors while dealing with the fallout, either, like when he was pressed by the Today Show’s Craig Melvin in June, and offered the following angry response: “I dealt with it 20 years ago, plus, and the American people, two-thirds of them, stayed with me. And I tried to do a good job since then with my life and with my work. That’s all I have to say.”

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His centrist politics and general Get Off My Lawn demeanor are also not helping. In 2016, while campaigning for Hillary, he got into a fight with a Black Lives Matter supporter, rudely attacked Bernie Sanders, and mocked the Affordable Care Act.

So in 2018, many Democratic candidates seem to be coming around to the fact that Clinton is dead weight if they want to turn out young voters and build out their base instead of just playing the hits for old, white, rich Democrats. The Times reports:

“I’m not sure that with all the issues he has, he could really be that helpful to the candidates,” said Tamika D. Mallory, an organizer of the Women’s March, who’s now promoting female candidates across the country. “It would do the Democratic Party well to have Bill Clinton focus on his humanitarian efforts.”

But of course he’s still getting around a little:

The former president, once such a popular political draw that he was nicknamed his party’s “explainer-in-chief,” has only appeared at a handful of private fund-raisers to benefit midterm candidates, according to people close to him.

He added one more last week, headlining a Wednesday evening fund-raiser in New York City last week to benefit the campaign of Mike Espy, Mr. Clinton’s former agriculture secretary who is running for Senate in Mississippi. Mr. Espy’s campaign declined to comment on the event.

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“Declined to comment” is truly a rousing endorsement of the Epsy campaign’s time with the former president.

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.

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DISCUSSION

Bill has always been the “sweep it under the rug” secret of our side of the political spectrum... he was the white Obama of his era, charming and charismatic, used as a follow-up to a curmudgeonly old republican. He worked well at the time, in a climate where democrats shamed Anita Hill just as much as republicans, when democrats were right there with Tipper Gore and her naughty language crusade. I think the fact that ol’ Bill and, by extension Hillary, are falling victim (rightly or wrongly, but I think history will bend toward “rightly”), to the legacy of Barack Obama: Barry is a smart as fuck, sliiightly left-of-center modern Democrat who’s dealt with what living in the 21st century has been like, not padded by vast wealth. And, maybe more importantly, the Obama’s have shown what being squeeky clean looks like in politics, and voters love them for it. I think we dem’s have always known that Bill (and, I’m sorry, but Hillary to in her own way) is the dirty old uncle who tells funny jokes at Thanksgiving, and that there’s a reason why you only see said uncle once a year and are never allowed to go to his house. He’s just so damned likeable, and yet... and yet. I hate that part of me still wants to shield him and say, “Well, he shouldn’t be dragged through the public square and get drawn and quartered”, but if we’re going to do it (rightly) to garbage piles like Brett Kavanaugh and Cosby and Weinstein and (list grows appaulingly long), then I think we need to look ourselves in the mirror and admit that, at the very least, Bill’s time is up and he needs to be wrapped in paper and stowed away in the attic.