Dennis Campbell
April 23, 2004
Teflon-free Clintons: A lot sticks, but little comes of it
By Dennis Campbell

Remember Pat Schroeder? She was a congresswoman from Colorado during President Ronald Reagan's administration.

What she is best-remembered for is her frustration at the inability of Democrats to make charges of misconduct against Mr. Reagan stick.

"He's the Teflon President!" she lamented.

Well, Bill and Hillary Clinton definitely are not Teflon-coated. They are just the opposite: Lots of stuff sticks. What distresses is that so little comes of it.

It seems that no matter what the Clintons are caught doing, there is a gaggle of honking apologists instantly obfuscating and excuse-making, and an obsequious media eager to do the same. Often, the likes of ABC and CNN ignore a story or give it cursory coverage. In-depth information typically comes from alternative news sources talk radio, the Internet, Fox News.

So, while Clinton was impeached (not almost impeached, as duplicitous revisionists say), and it was obvious Hillary engaged in insider trading that turned her small investment into an enormous return, and her husband lied to a grand jury and harrassed women, and the two of them routinely used racial slurs against Jews and blacks, the majority of those most influential in news and opinion gave it all a pass for the most part unless forced by circumstances or Matt Drudge to do otherwise.

It seems that when even egregious misconduct is uncovered, the Clintons simply walk, giving their detractors the single-finger salute.

Of course, there is a great hypocrisy in American politics. Sen. Trent Lott gives a bit of praise to retiring colleague and one-time segregationist Strom Thurmond and is whipped pillar to post. Sen Chris Dodd extravagantly praises former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon Robert Byrd in the Senate, and there is nary a peep of outrage from Dan Rather or the Times. The difference? One is conservative, the other liberal.

You figure out who is what.

So, when a friend e-mailed information about a report of an investigation into a Hillary fund-raiser in August of 2000 that threatens to get uncomfortably close to the former first lady, her prediction of a possible "perp walk" for Hillary seemed unlikely.

According to the Los Angeles Times, "The Federal Election Commission is investigating a Hollywood gala that raised more than $1 million for Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign....

"The FEC investigation...comes atop a U.S. Justice Department inquiry that has focused in recent months on the event and former Clinton finance executive David Rosen."

Inquiries are being made about possible false statements and the collection and distribution of funds for Hillary's campaign.

There is speculation the investigation is why Hillary emphatically denies interest in running for vice president with likely Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry, although in truth many say she merely is unwilling to accept a secondary position.

But all of that is moot. While Democrats hurled mud at President Reagan and little stuck, it seems the Clintons can walk around splattered, with few negative consequences.

No matter how this investigation concludes, it is unlikely that Hillary will suffer. If wrongdoing is discovered, someone else will be blamed and pay whatever penalty is exacted. The Los Angeles Times will make excuses. Dan Rather will ignore it. Katie Couric will wonder if it is just another manifestation of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

The Clintons have skated through life wreaking havoc in the lives of others for decades, and what has come of it?

Feminists hypocritically supported Clinton when stories of rape and sexual harassment surfaced.

When he lied to a grand jury about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, Clinton paid no price of consequence.

Where were the charges of treason for selling secret military technology to China?

Where was the hard-hitting coverage of Hillary's sacking of the White House travel staff in favor of her friends? The relentless follow-up?

No, the Clintons are not Teflon-coated. Mud sticks, but not much else happens.

They just may be the most powerful husband and wife team in the history of American politics, and with power comes the right to say figuratively speaking, and using a vulgar but popular colloquialism "Bite me."

But as they grow older, the closet becomes more crowded with skeletons and the list of enemies grows. Can this continue forever?

Those who value justice and, yes, hope to see Hillary get her comeuppance, will follow this investigation to see if things have changed. If not, even if misconduct is found Hillary's life will continue normally.

And like Pat Schroeder, we will gnash our teeth and pound our pillows.

© Dennis Campbell

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)