Bill Clinton

What would you do?

Wendyl Nissen tries to explain that she would indeed stick around with a cheating husband…

None of us knows whether we would stand by our man until it happens to us.

As Colin Craig paraded his wife Helen in front of the media as evidence he is a very nice man, despite allegations of inappropriate behaviour and rumours of harassment, many women would have watched her strained performance and felt several things.

Pity for the position a man who supposedly loves her has put her in. Admiration for the strength it took her to do it and deep sadness that she is married to Craig and will continue to be.

And then they would have asked themselves the question. Would I stick around if that happened to me?

What we don’t know about women in Helen’s shoes is what has gone on before.

Let’s be realistic. If you’re married to a politician you don’t see a lot of him. It’s all meetings and phone calls, flights to catch, endless nights away, handshakes and beers, time massaging not only his ego but those of his people and party.

You never see him and when you do his head is in the cloud of self-love.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Helen’s appearance in front of the TV cameras was the most time she has spent with Craig in a very long time.

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Shelley Bridgeman says wheeling out political wives is ‘demeaning and humiliating’

A good observation by Shelley Bridgeman about Monday’s shameful press conference by Colin Craig.

By wheeling out his wife in times of strife, Colin Craig was observing a tradition beloved of male politicians.

He was merely using his nearest and dearest in an attempt to sanitise his image. In a statement, his wife, Helen Craig, said: “I do not often speak to the media but I choose to stand with my husband here today in full love and support of him”.

If those words sound familiar, even somewhat plagiarised, it’s probably because of the Tammy Wynette song Stand by Your Man – the lyrics of which make me feel a little queasy:

“You’ll have bad times, and he’ll have good times
Doin’ things that you don’t understand
But if you love him, you’ll forgive him.”

Then, of course, the famous chorus goes: “Stand by your man, and show the world you love him”.

It’s difficult to believe that politicians are still taking inspiration from a sentimental song that has its origins in the 1960s.

How can anyone think such a retro approach to indiscretions and blind loyalty is the best response in the 21st century?

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Musing of the Day

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton motions for members of his family to join him onstage after he and former first lady Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) unveiled portraits of themselves in Washington, April 24, 2006. The portraits will hang in the newly-restored National Portrait Gallery, which is scheduled to reopen July 1. The gallery holds the only complete portrait collection of U.S. presidents outside the White House's own.   REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTR1CRQU

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

If I understand the history correctly, in the late 1990s, the President was impeached for lying about a sexual affair by a House of Representatives led by a man who was also then hiding a sexual affair, who was supposed to be replaced by another Congressman who stepped down when forced to reveal that he too was having a sexual affair, which led to the election of a new Speaker of the House who now has been indicted for lying about payments covering up his sexual contact with a boy.

Yikes.

And we get all into a tizz about pulling a ponytail.  Yet these are the people we elect to positions of power.  We have our own.  One fled the country.  One’s still running a major city somewhere.  We had a party leader that went to jail.

And there is another party leader

 

– Orin Kerr, Washington Post

Clinton’s campaign becoming a joke

Hillary Clinton’s campaign risks becoming a joke, worse a running gag.

There is a rich vein of material to tap as well as it lurches from one embarrassment to the next.

Matt Lewis at The Telegraph explains:

Republicans are the usual targets for caricature on popular US comedy show Saturday Night Live (remember Tina Fey as Sarah Palin?). But comedienne Kate McKinnon’s impersonation of Hillary Clinton last week gave Fey a run for her money.

On the eve of Clinton’s announcement, one biting SNL skit imagined what Mrs Clinton’s announcement video might sound like. “Citizens, you will elect me,” McKinnon barked. “I will be your leader!” The satirical message was simple: Hillary Clinton believes she is entitled to the presidency.

In 2008, it was widely perceived that Mrs Clinton’s sense of entitlement cost her the White House. So this time round, she is making a concerted effort to appear “normal”. After announcing her candidacy, Mrs Clinton and her entourage took a 1,000 mile road-trip in a van she dubbed the “Scooby Doo van” (presumably named after the “Mystery Machine” driven in the classic children’s cartoon). En route, she made a pit stop for a chicken burrito bowl at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant.     Read more »

The lies of Hillary Clinton keep on coming

Hillary Clinton just keeps on lying, it seems she just can’t help it.

She of course calls it mis-speaking.

Andrew Bolt explains:

Hillary Clinton campaigns for the immigrant vote in Iowa:

All my grandparents, you know, came over here [to America],” Hillary Clinton claimed, reinforcing her immigration reform bona fides.

Except, of course, it’s another Hillary lie – one so astonishingly obvious that you can only conclude that she lies reflexively and habitually.

Only one of her grandparents was born overseas, although another was the child of immigrants, forcing Clinton’s staff to offer this cringing explanation:

“Her grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants,” a Clinton spokesman told BuzzFeed News.   

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Labour should do this with its leadership contenders

After the Democrats were trounced in the 1994 midterms, Barbara A. Bardes and Robert W. Oldenick claimed in their book Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind, Bill Clinton employed the firm Penn and Schoen to conduct a poll a day dissecting his language, mannerisms and the nuances of his policy proposals. Heading into the 1996 election, on discovering that swing voters preferred outdoorsy vacations, the Clintons decided to summer in Wyoming.

Will New Zealand ever listen to Captain Mumblef*ck? They didn’t for the two years he lead Labour last.

Or vote for a double chinned, bespectacled, cardy wearing civil servant from the set of Gliding On who has his own set of skeletons lurking?   Read more »

When does a political scandal take its toll?

There is a great deal of talk about political scandals at the moment. Most of it is beltway and of no consequence, with the scandal largely manufactured by an opposition out of real ideas.

The polls should give them a clue as to what the public believes.

THere is some evidence though, actually quite a lot of evidence, to suggest what it is precisely that finally bites when a scandal runs.

Your allies may be quick to abandon you during a scandal if you’re expendable (think John Edwards), but if you’re, say, the president, they may be more likely to rally to your side. Scandals may also be more damaging for black candidates (PDF) than for white ones. Additionally, scandals may be more likely to emerge when the opposition party has a lower opinion of the incumbent and when it’s a slow news week (PDF). Voters think worse of scandals involving financial problems than they do of sex scandals, especially when abuse of power is involved. They are also quicker to forgive (or forget) sex scandals than financial ones (PDF). Read more »

Bill Clinton channels his inner Colin Craig

BillClintonWithAlien

Bill Clinton appears to be sharing information with Colin Craig:

Bill Clinton is intrigued by space aliens.

The former United States president appeared on Wednesday’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He ended up discussing, among other things, extraterrestrial life.

Clinton admitted that soon after becoming president, he had his aides research Area 51, the Nevada military facility, “to make sure there was no alien down there.” He was also interested in Roswell, N.M., the site of a reputed UFO sighting in 1947, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary during Clinton’s presidency.

“I had all the Roswell papers reviewed – everything,” he told Kimmel.

“If you saw that there were aliens there, would you tell us?” Kimmel asked.

“Yeah,” Clinton said, nodding.   Read more »

Friday nightCap

Bill Clinton might not be a dodgy rooting ratbag, but Tony Blair might be

Liz Hurley has denied a torrid affair with Bill Clinton, describing such rumours as “ludicrously silly”.

As celebrity gossip goes, it takes some beating: actress and model Elizabeth Hurley has year-long affair with Bill Clinton while he was US President.

Throw in the suggestion that they had a liaison in the White House while Hillary Clinton was next door, and that Mr Clinton ended it when he realised he was falling in love, and you have a story that rivals Marilyn Monroe’s alleged fling with John F Kennedy.

But when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, as Miss Hurley pointed out on Wednesday when she was forced to deny the “ludicrously silly” report and threatened legal action as it gathered pace online.

The allegations were made by Tom Sizemore, a Hollywood actor who claims to have dated Miss Hurley in the 1990s.

Sizemore was recorded on video boasting to friends that he had arranged Miss Hurley’s first rendezvous with the president in 1998 following a White House screening of Saving Private Ryan.

The actor was one of the stars of the film and claimed Clinton pulled him away from the screening for a private conversation.

In the video, obtained by the gossip website Radar Online, Sizemore says Clinton asked him: “Did you go with Liz Hurley for four years? Do you still see her?”

When Sizemore confirmed that the couple had dated but were no longer an item, Clinton is said to have asked for Miss Hurley’s phone number.

In the recording, Sizemore claims the then-President told him: ‘Give it to me. You dumb m***********r, I’m the Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America.

“The buck stops here. Give me the damn number.”

Why didn’t he just get the NSA to give it to him?

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