I’d vote for him all over again.

I’m sitting here doing something I don’t normally do: Watching the Democratic National Convention. I tuned in only because I wanted to see Bill Clinton give his speech and I have to confess, I’d vote for him again today if he were able to run. Kerry doesn’t do a whole lot for me other than he’s not Bush, but Clinton still manages to give me a sense of optimism. Bill sure can give a good speech, that’s for sure and he’s saying all the right things. Almost enough to ease my natural cynicism of all things political. Favorite line so far: “Strength and Wisdom are not opposing values.”

Yeah, I’d definitely vote for him again. Damn shame he can’t run.

34 thoughts on “I’d vote for him all over again.

  1. Gore gave a great speech—he was funny and intelligent and damnitall it made me cry to think about what should have been. It’ll probably be available on the DNC website; if you get a chance, you should listen to it. It might even be on MSNBC since that’s the channel I saw it on.

    I loved Clinton’s speech too. Bill’s, I mean.

  2. Personally I find Bill Clinton kind of shady.  I mean he went through two terms of bombing the hell out of Iraq without there being any major public out cry.  Now you have to be pretty sneaky to do that.  He also seems too slick to me, I think I kind of like Kerry because he seems to dull and lacking in charisma to really get much underhandedness past the public without being noticed.  He might not be as colorful a character, but I think he would be a better leader for the people than Clinton.

  3. Kerry’s perfectly capable of slipping a fast one past the voters.  But as Les says, he isn’t Bush.  Bring back Bill Clinton!

    Clinton lied about: fooling around with an intern, and a land deal in Arkensaw in which he lost money. Ken Star spent something like $27m of OUR money trying to nail him on something and he came up clean.  Jeebus, you think he’s a boy scout if he made it to the White House?

    Right or wrong, Clinton’s Iraq policy was backed by the UN.  Bush’s was not.

    Bush lied about… hmm… what exactly has he told the truth about?  And the consequences of his lies are just staggering to think about.

  4. Yeah, I miss Bill too.  I DID feel optimistic while he was in the White House—if only because I knew my civil rights were safe.  It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten what that feeling was like.

    And yeah, even if I AM a yellow-dog Democrat, I miss him.  As they say, better for him to be screwing an intern than screwing the country … And never mind that old chestnut about presidents going to war when they’re sexually frustrated …


  5. > And never mind that old chestnut about
    > presidents going to war when they’re sexually
    > frustrated …

    Interns for Kerry! Young, pretty interns.

    And some for Ashcroft too – maybe then he won’t try to become Kenneth Starr II after he gets thrown out of office.

  6. I had to run some errands last evening and missed Gore’s speech, but I did catch Clinton’s. It reminded me of just how good he is on the podium. I think he did a pretty darn fair job of concisely framing the issues. I really cracked up (in the LOL sense) when he said “Strength and wisdom are not opposing values.”

    I wonder just how effective the RNC’s War Room will be this week. Fox, of course, will be a conduit, but I like to believe that ABC, CBS, and NBC will spend their hour per night focusing on the convention.

  7. “Personally I find Bill Clinton kind of shady.”

    At least Clinton’s lies didn’t get anyone killed

  8. I got sick of all the “news” channels blathering on top of all the speakers last night and switched over to C-SPAN. It was quite refreshing.

    CNN really pissed me off this morning. I don’t know how many times I heard them say that “not many people were watching the convention” because “The WB” had higher ratings than ABC,CBS,or NBC. How about adding those ratings together and including CNN,MSNBC,FOX, and C-SPAN? I bet the numbers come out different! And now all they’re talking about, over and over and over, is how “controversial” it is that Mrs Kerry told some jerk reporter to “shove it”.

    What a load of crap! rolleyes

  9. I, too, like Clinton a lot (as a person and as a statesman).  Quiet literally a certifiable genuis, i don’t think we’ve had a president whose intellectual capabilities were more well-rounded than Clinton’s. 

    Fortunately, should Senator Clinton win office, i can see Bill Clinton adding much in terms of policy development and marketing, whether they are still married or not.  Both individuals have an extremely strong working relationship, of which the office of President gained a great deal.

    Who knows, maybe Bill Clinton will run for the senate or, more to his liking, something more regional like NYC Mayor or Governor.

    .rob adams

    .rob adams

  10. Spocko – They have to do something, anything to try and divert attention from the political process and the facts.

    Today we have Ashcroft indicting the HLF for supporting terrorism under Bush’s new plan to choke out terrorism.  No mention that in 1996, Representative Nita Lowey (D-N.Y) asked the IRS to revoke HLF’s tax-exempt status contending “that the HLF’s aid to Hamas-run charities and deportees is proof of the foundation’s support for terrorism.”

    It’s all a smoke screen and I’m sure the dems will attempt to do something of the same nature during the republican convention.  Unfortunately, they don’t have as many government resources to abuse.

    captcha = ‘earlier’  Why didn’t these charge come ‘earlier’?  We had to wait until the convention! – Asshat

  11. Spocko/deadscot: No kidding! Were did FOX get those women! Sheesh, I though for a second I was watching Saturday Night Live! Really! One woman talking out of the side of her mouth and facing the camera at an odd angle… Totally stereotypical field reporter on Monty Python. Then the woman on the left with the voice… My wife and I were cracking up over them.

    After getting over the comedy, we tried to figure out what they were doing on the air in the first place. Who was the over all stage steeling speaker and who was left behind? What ever happened to talking about the issues being spoken about?

    Isn’t there a “documentary” about FOX and their reporting? Kind of like Fahrenheit 9/11?

  12. deadscot – they’re doing the same shit with Berger.
    This investigation has been going on for months and then all of the sudden it gets leaked to the press. Bullshit I say!

  13. I don’t get it. Why are people so impressed with good oratory skills? I mean, I would vote for Clinton and against Bush because their I favor the former’s policies more, but good public speaking skills shouldn’t sway a thinking person, right?

    I mean, there are lots of brilliant people who can’t give a good speach, so why should that matter so much? Why should public speaking skills count for even 0.0000001% as much as good policy?

    What do you say, Les?

  14. Ahh, but good speaking skills shows a clear mind. Anyone can read a speach and sound good. It’s how they handle ad-lib’ing that shows the speaker’s true form.

    I have always been impressed with Clinton’s non-prepared speaking. Bush, well, ah, er, ahem, not really. So far, from what I have heard from Kerry/Edwards, I feel the same feelings I do when listening to Clinton.

  15. deadscot – they’re doing the same shit with Berger.
    This investigation has been going on for months and then all of the sudden it gets leaked to the press. Bullshit I say!

    Here is a full list of the the things that Congress should investigate but will not.

    Burger screwed up but he’s not Walker or Hanson. This is from the lead in to the article.

    …Republican lawmakers are promising a partisan witch hunt over lost National Archives documents by former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, even though the Justice Department has told news agencies it does not expect criminal charges, and even though Republicans on the 9/11 Commission acknowledge they saw all of the material in question.

  16. I think Clinton’s a brilliant speaker, while I cringe in embarrassment every time Bush opens his mouth.  The man can’t even read a prepared speech and cover up the fact that he’s barely literate. 

    In the eyes of the rest of the world the President is the face and voice of America, and at the moment we’re represented by a moron utterly lacking in even the most basic skills necessary to speak in public.  Call me picky, but I have some pretty lofty expectations of a President, and a native-born American who can’t properly pronounce “nuclear” simply doesn’t measure up.

    I’ll take a leader who got his knob bobbed over one with the IQ of a vinyl bobble-head any day!

  17. I mean, there are lots of brilliant people who can’t give a good speach, so why should that matter so much? Why should public speaking skills count for even 0.0000001% as much as good policy?

    Because communication (leadership) is a huge part of the job.  To offer better policies, you have to connect with the people who will be affected by them.  You also have to connect with their representatives in Congress.  This has to be done by the top guy.

    Of course, voters should turn their backs on someone who is a good speaker but has bad policies.  But I wouldn’t vote for someone with good policies but no speaking skills unless his/her opponent was a real stinker.  Such a person would be unlikely to ever get any of those policies enacted.

  18. If we were discussing any other country, and not our planet’s SuperPower, then i’d say speaking skills say little of a government leader.  For the most part it’s about:

    reasoning (policy formulation)
    delegation (reasearch, implementation)
    communicating (rallying the masses)

    If it were all about communication skills, then Hitler would’ve propelled human civilisation fantastically fast up and onward, and Emperor Cl_Clau_Claudius wouldn’t have stood a chance at managing the Empire almost thrown into political chaose post-Caligula.  Instead, Hitler rallied the masses around policies that were like hearding bunnies over a cliff, and Claudius snatched the Empire back from a multi-despot civil war.

    But, here in America, with the advent of mass-media devices no longer just in homes, but on wrists and cars and more, it’s mostly about communication.  If you cannot properly communicate, not only can you not rally the masses (for ensuring a bill’s passage), but you won’t rally the horde operating on your behalf.

    Take Carter as an example.  Hugely excellent at policy formulation, sucked as delegation, and (then) was horrible at communicating emotion and dedication.  As a result, his administration stumbled repeatedly in many areas Carter, alone, would have excelled in—- if he had been running, say, Burkina Faso or some Tropico-sized nation.


  19. Good example, Carter.  Loved his policies, especially where he said that dependence on foreign energy made the US vulnerable and that achieving energy independence was the “moral equivalent of war” on a scale of importance.  But he sucked so badly at connecting with people and their representatives that he couldn’t create a lasting change.

    I don’t think anybody said it was “all about communication,” though.  Of course communication skills, like good policy, are necessary but not sufficient.  And it wouldn’t make any difference the size of the country.  There’s no place where communication skills are not important.

    Wait… there was one authority who said that image was everything…

    No wonder your president has to be an actor. He has to look good on television!

    – Doc Emmet L. Brown in Back To The Future, responding to the news that Ronald Reagan – the actor – was president in 1985, and pondering his first look at a futuristic (1985) video camera.

  20. I am, of course, viewing Claudius through the eyes of Derek Jacoby and Robert Graves, but I expect that Claudius would have been a pretty good orator had he been able to lose the speach impediment.

    I didn’t care for all of Carter’s policies. He took away half of the light bulbs and turned off the cold water in the men’s room in government office buildings.  smile Of course these things came back after Reagon was elected—not a good trade off if I recollect.

  21. I would also vote for him myself.  I think he was the best president we’ve had for a number of years.

  22. My thought is that presidential candidates as of late have been required to walk an unreasonably razor thin line laid down by the America media.  Every action that they take is subjected to most intense scrutinizing and then reduced to an entertaining sound-bites.  Presidential elections are become less like politics and more like sporting events.  Whichever ‘coach’ can get his team to execute the game plan best, get the right calls, and few lucky breaks will take the whole thing.

    captcha = ‘soviet’

  23. The problem here is the kind of coverage that the media provides. Things began to change when the Reaganites threw out the notion of requiring the broadcast media to serve the public interest and diluted the regulatory authority of the FCC. (Last I checked, Powell the younger knows best what is in the public interest.) With those changes the VHF TV networks made their news departments into profit centers. Today’s so called news coverage takes on some aspects of E!.

    Given the emergence of cable and corporate consolidation of the media, I wonder if it is possible to move back toward the way things used to be.


  24. I didn’t care for all of Carter’s policies. He took away half of
    the light bulbs and turned off the cold water in the men’s room in
    government office buildings.

    Energy independence is a policy.  55mph speed limit, no hot water, and taking out light bulbs is (stupid) implementation.  In addition to being a poor communicator, Carter sucked at delegating, and many of those lame-brained ideas came right from his shaggy cranium. News flash, Jimmy; any implementation has to account for the fact that people don’t like freezing in the dark or crawling down the highway.

    As Rob said, there are a number of skills a chief executive needs – reasoning, research, delegation, communication, and it isn’t asking too much that our president posess every one.  Clinton did, and contrary to the VRWC (Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy) he also posessed ethics as Ken Star’s vendetta investigation showed.  His little dalliance with some intern apparently did little to harm our national prestige, while our nation’s reaction to it made us a laughingstock.

    Full disclosure; I was very disgusted with him for that, not because I care about his private life but because it was bad marketing. 

    Given the emergence of cable and corporate consolidation of the media, I wonder if it is possible to move back toward the way things used to be.

    If people start showing a demand for responsible journalism, the market will respond to it.  (Doh!  There goes that darn “Idealism alarm” again…)

  25. The ability to speak articulately denotes intelligence.  Let’s face it:  speech is what distinguishes us from our closest primate relatives.  I DO demand intelligence of my leaders—all of ‘em.  What could possibly be more valuable than intelligence?  Good hair?  A quick hand with the beer keg?  I don’t think so.

  26. I agree that we should set the highest standards for our elected officials but I believe that we as Americans have become hyper-critical of our leadership.

    In this day and age, complete honesty on the part of a politician would be the equivalent of political suicide.  We have developed this innate ability to expect nothing less than perfection from those we entrust to leadership positions and allow them no room for error.  No matter how small of a degree.  We can see evidence of this all the way down to local level school boards and local business board rooms.  Many a good town or company has lost a good teacher or leader for a relatively small infraction.

    The results or this mentality are evidenced in the continuing efforts of politicians and leadership to hide and bury even the most trivial of matters away from public view and when they do emerge they are immediately exploited by the media.

    [Quote]But, here in America, with the advent of mass-media devices no longer just in homes, but on wrists and cars and more, it’s mostly about communication.  If you cannot properly communicate, not only can you not rally the masses (for ensuring a bill’s passage), but you won’t rally the horde operating on your behalf.

    Agreed.  Unfortunately our system isn’t prepared to operate at these types of speeds and I’m not quite sure I want it to.  Having a slow, methodical government lends itself to a balanced, well thought-out system.  Versus the knee-jerk type of system that brought us the ‘Patriot Act’.

  27. I think people might have misinterpreted what I posted earlier.  I’m not saying Bill Clinton is worse that George W. Bush, to make that claim would be silly.  Clinton is a million times a better president than Bush from what I gather.  However, I don’t think people are giving John Kerry his due.  Clinton, though he was a fine orator and a charismatic statesman was somewhat shady.  I’m not talking about his affinity for interns either.  As far as I care that doesn’t matter.  What I am talking about is his admistrations repeated bombing of Iraq, something that I don’t think most people are aware of.  He managed to bomb Iraq repeatedly throughout his two terms in office without there being much substantial out cry.  Why is this the case?  His admistration managed to suppress that information from reaching the news.  That’s almost as bad as going to war on false pretenses, it’s attacking a sovereign nation without even informing the populace.  Moreover, the sanctions that Iraq had to undergo after the first Gulf War led to a tremendous amount of suffering by the people of Iraq, who had little influence on the actions of Saddam Hussein.  Though these sanctions were enacted by the UN during George H.W. Bush’s term, Clinton did little to attempt to lift them.  I don’t think Clinton is the ideal of a liberal Democrat president that some people here seem to make him out to be.  I will grant that Kerry might sneak a few past the people, but it does seem that he might be more genuinely liberal than Clinton was, which is something that I think is something that is worth considering.

  28. I think you were pretty clear, Stink, but it isn’t true that Clinton’s bombing of Iraq was kept from the American people.  It was in our daily newspaper, it was reported on NPR, it was discussed at length on the McNeal Lehrer Newshour, and blipverted in tiny sound/image bites on NBC, ABC, CBS.  So if the Clinton administration was trying to keep it a big secret, they were doing a lousy job.

    If memory serves, the bombings were directed at radar installations, airbases, and command posts that supported violations of the no fly zone, which was instituted to 1) permit arial enforcement of UN sanctions, and 2) protect the Kurdish population in the North, which had been slaughtered in large numbers at the end of the first gulf war.  Naturally a lot of missiles missed their targets, and we got to see pictures of anguished people mourning their dead.  Saddam played these up big time.

    You are absolutely right that sanctions just don’t work, and they cause suffering.  (Look at Cuba, after all.)  Clinton may have been ambivalent about the sanctions, but they were widely supported.  He would have had to use up a LOT of political capital to get rid of them.

    I don’t think Clinton really was all that liberal, which is fine with me. He was able to work with people who really hated him and still do some good.  Amazing.

    I’ll take Kerry’s liberalism over Bush’s … I don’t know what to call it, idiocy?  Hypocrisy? Plutocracy?

  29. The Democrats have a couple of very, very good public speakers in Barak Obama and John Edwards. Since we are neighbors to Illinois, we have been getting coverage of Obama’s senatorial race (and of the Republican’s self destruction.) However, I hadn’t heard him speak before last night. I’m glad that I watched.

    The two NPR pundits agreed that tonight’s speech wasn’t Edward’s A-game, then later relented a little—but still maintained that he stepped on some of his applause lines. I’m not a speech maven, so I wouldn’t pick up on that sort of thing.

  30. Also… (re. US/British bombings of Iraq pre-IraqWar2)

    [] The Iraqis (with German technical help) had installed a number of brand-new radar installations and command centres, all using fiber networks to communicate.  A number of these were placed under civilian institutions/buildings, like schools.  Some of the civilian casaulties were a result of this.  If a radar locks onto your craft, you’re asking for death by ignoring it and not firing back.
    [] As our planes flew over Iraq not only did radar installations lock on, but their anti-aircraft installations also occassionaly fired upon us.  This, too, would result in a response by our fighters.  But, sometimes, the anti-aircraft’s ordinance would literally fall-back down onto civilian centres, causing sometimes considerable damage.  The Iraqi Ministry of Information didn’t hesitate to blame this destruction on US/Brit fighters, not their anti-aircraft gunneries.

    Without such operations, enforcing the Northern and Southern no-fly zones, the Kurds would have been squashed once again, and places like Basra would have seen even greater purges, or worse, chemical reprisals.  Sure, it’s a guess what might have happened without the NoFlyZones, but a good guess given SaddamAndThugs’ past behavior.

    Hey, we even dropped leaflets upon these radar installations, warning the operators to not lock onto our crafts or face probable death.  You don’t get too many warnings in battle.  I thought such warnings were quite typical, good natured American style.

    I watch the nightly news (all the big networks with sizeable news operations: Fox, NBC, CNN, NewsHour, BBC) almost every day.  And, i remember during this time that there was usually a mention of when (a) we were fired upon, or (b) we were locked onto and fired back.  We also tended to show Iraq’s M.of Info’s footage of said school/market being destroyed, and their claim that US/Brit fighters did the bombing, sans mention of a radar installation or ordinance fallback.

    Lastly, let us remember that Iraq repeatedly threatened its neighbors during this period of time, post-Kuwaiti withdrawal.  Jordan was practically Findlandised towards Iraq, having witness countless build-up of troops on its border. Saudi Arabia, too, also witness several very large scale, sudden troop deployments on its shared border with Iraq.  We would have been silly to ignore such, no matter how militarily foolish such adventures would’ve been for Saddam’s army at the time.  But, hey, insane men rarely rely upon wisdom.

    (One of Udai’s favourite hobbies was having professional maps drawn up of a “future mideast”, in various stages of Iraq’s expansion to the south and west—and post-Soviet collapse he revised these to show a northern expansion, too.  Crazy, but upon such dreams was Kuwait’s infrastructure raped ala-Borg style by Iraq.)

    .rob adams

  31. George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography—- by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin

    Charpter – I – The House of Bush: Born in a Bank

    Who is George Bush? How did he become the 41st U.S. President?

    He is said to be a man of the “old establishment,” who “chose to seek his fortune as an independent oilman….” @s1

    In fact, Bush was never “independent.” Every career step in his upward climb relied on his family’s powerful associations. The Bush family joined the Eastern Establishment comparatively recently, and only as servitors. Their wealth and influence resulted from their loyalty to another, more powerful family, and their willingness to do anything to get ahead.

    For what they did, Bush’s forebears should have become very famous, or infamous. They remained obscure figures, managers from behind the scenes. But their actions—including his father’s role as banker for Adolf Hitler—had tragic effects for the whole planet.

    It was these services to his family’s benefactors, which propelled George Bush to the top.


    For more wild and whacky reading check out The Draheim Report – The Bush Nazi Collection. Another eye opener:  Prescott Sheldon Bush; Available on Google.

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