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Falstaff

I wasn't going to comment -- my usual policy when I can't think of anything interesting to say. (I know, I know, I'm not that interesting when I DO comment either.) But I just wanted to express how much I liked this piece. It says the stuff that I would like to have said. I've never fully understood just why Bill Clinton pissed the Villagers off so much (HRC I understand at least a little; they're so retrograde as a group that an unapologetic, independent professional who makes no bones about her preference for her career over appearances really freaks them out), and I always enjoy watching you watching them freaking out. As it were.

Apostate

Oh so true. You just summed up the last five years of The Daily Howler. If poor Bob Somerby goes back that far.

But yeah. Inexplicable. Childish. Infuriating.

Ralph H.

You nailed it. Same Washington Insiders (why didn't they think of THAT when they renamed the Bullets?) who decided to name an aircraft carrier after the segregationist John Stennis instead of the many, many far more worthy figures in our history. Why is there no USS Harriet Tubman? [Sorry for getting off-topic.] Personal note-- I've never met HRC but my niece did, working for a couple of years in the First Lady's Correspondence Office back in the mid-90s, & she remains a fervent Hillary loyalist. Through her good offices my wife, daughter & I were fantastically lucky enough to spend ~15 minutes with President Clinton getting filmed for a 1996 DNC campaign commercial. He really does have impressive people skills, which is another way of saying that he's a very nice guy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

julia

I'm pretty sure I know what about the Clintons pissed them off.

They were all excited about them during the election. Gave them the benefit of the doubt. Lofted the new kids into town on a cloud of press enthusiasm.

Then they realized that the two of them were in the best address in town, and they felt no need at all to hang with the cliffdwellers.

Imagine. They thought you could be s0meone in Washington without the people who decide who the someones in Washington are - just because a bunch of people who David Broder would have interviewed if they mattered voted for them.

The last twenty years has been the second act of Carrie. Nancy Allen's character didn't give a rat's ass about Sissy Spacek's character - but she did care very deeply about her segniorial right to decide her fate...

julia

That would, of course, be seignorial.

sigh.

Redbeard

Did you see Newsweek's Jon Meacham snark anout the Clintons on The Daily Show? The audience gave him a cold response.

Uncle Merlin

Its time to Nuke the Washington Insiders, they've been hiding too long behind "civility" as it were. Now,... Where's that button to turn on Skynet??? I've misplaced it yet again....damn!

Bill Altreuter

In a funny way permanent Washington is like society in a Henry James novel. If you aren't "from" Washington it is difficult for permanent Washington to warm up to you. You don't have to be from DC to be permanent Washington-- if you are a member of the bureaucracy, or Hill staff, or press, and you aren't figuring on leaving after the next election cycle then the people who come into town every four or eight years are just members of the circus who roll in at regular intervals, then roll out. From your vantage the real work gets done by permanent Washington, and that includes showing the rubes the ropes. Some people get it, and some never do. The Reagans got it by bringing Hollywood glamor to town, and inviting permanent Washington to participate. They say that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, and there is more than a gram of truth to it. Carter did not do it-- he and his people were outsiders, and stayed outsiders, but at least they went away, back to whatever dreary place they were from originally. The Clintons were around for eight years-- the maximum time you can be around unless you are part of permanent Washington-- and they were disruptive. And they won't leave. They insist on making the story about themselves, instead of about the people in permanent Washington, like Bob Woodward.

Oddly, the fact of permanent Washington used to help with governance, at least on the Hill. Just because you disagreed with someone politically didn't mean you couldn't socialize with a person, and this resulted in a measure of civility which fostered compromise. You couldn't find two people more different politically than Orin Hatch and Teddy Kennedy, but they are good pals, and have worked across the aisle on a number of issues. In recent years, one hears, the members don't hang out in DC-- they go home to raise money-- and the result has been an increase in divisive partisanship.

Paul Gottlieb

Except that Bill Clinton is a successful politician, with an almost unbroken history of electoral success, who brought us eight years of unbroken prosperity and relative peace. Then he left office with sky high approval ratings and went out and became very rich as well as raising billions for charity. Sadly for them, Bob Woodward is just Bob Woodward and Maureen Dowd is just Maureen Dowd.

John

George Wallace ran for President, twice!

Actually, George Wallace ran for president four times - he ran in a couple of Democratic primaries in 1964, then as an independent in 1968, then in the Democratic primaries again in 1972 and 1976.

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