The Slap Heard Round the World

by Maggie Van Ostrand

After decades of listening to the Clintons boasting about the closeness of their family with the Kennedys’, it seems the Kennedys are doing the same thing to the Clintons that they once did to the mob, only sooner.

NYTimes Op-Ed columnist, Frank Rich, asked this in his Sunday column about Bill Clinton’s “co-candidacy:”

• Do Bill Clinton’s red-faced eruptions and fact-challenged rants enhance or diminish his wife as a woman and a candidate?

When Bill Clinton ignored Ted Kennedy’s admonitions to get a grip on his lip and quit the negativity about his wife’s main competitor in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, you could hear the steel doors to political victory clanging shut. Even worse for Hillary, the Kennedys handed Barack Obama the keys to those doors by wholeheartedly endorsing him. Twice.

First, we heard JFK’s daughter, Caroline, refer to Senator Obama as a president like her father, a comment which must have been approved by Teddy Kennedy, family patriarch, before it appeared in the NY Times.

Part of Caroline’s Op-Ed piece in the Times said she wanted “… a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.”

She believes that president should be Barack Obama.

Then Ted himself came out for Obama.

A one-two slap to the Clintons’ dual face for their one-two-pronged blitzkrieg against Obama, the strategy of which was seemingly to bring him down to their level. They almost made it. But not quite.

You can take the politician out of the statesman but you can’t make a statesman out of a politician.