Former President Bill Clinton lost his temper on FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace in a taped interview yesterday and it’s the big story today. Clinton got visibly upset when Wallace asked him why he didn’t do more to get Bin Laden.
President Clinton’s defense of the Bin Laden failure came across as genuine and determined from a man who clearly and obviously feels some responsibility for not doing more to protect the American people. I must admit that I felt – as I am sure many Americans did - some empathy for him.
(For the record, I felt even worse for Wallace who was unfairly accused by Clinton of doing a “nice little conservative hit job” - Wallace has more than 20 years of experience in professional journalism.)
But then he lost me with that familiar finger-wagging scold, the red face and the plainspoken demand of why we should feel bad for him. Was it genuine?
Clinton’s entire defense rested on the opinion of one former Counter Terrorism Aide – Richard Clarke. Then there was the blatant slight at Karl Rove for attempting to scare Republicans into voting for Bush despite his administration’s lack of competence on the matter of national security. Ironically, Clinton’s passion may have been the best case for Democrats on national security since Bush took over in 2000.
And what the heck is going on with all the book plugs? I don’t think anyone’s Bush-bashing book has ever been plugged harder than Clarke’s Against All Enemies since Hugo Chavez held up Noam Chompsky’s Hegemony at the United Nations last week!
(Did you also notice last week that Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf declined to answer a question about being threatened with US attacks by citing an obligation to his publisher pending the publication of his upcoming book!)
Where is the applause for Sen. Robert C. Byrd? The only book he ever holds up in the well of the senate is the U.S. Constitution.
As a chronic optimist, I have to believe that after the two parties finish bludgeoning each other to victory, the point will become obvious: more needs to be done to make America safer and finger pointing after the fact won’t do anymore.
And if that doesn’t happen, maybe I can write a book about bee keeping and get Bin Laden to feature it in his next cave video.
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