Just as President Bush puts on his best performance in years, Vichy John anoints himself Ronald Reagan's heir. Won't do him much good, Clintonwise.
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p>Kerry is struggling for traction, having failed to light a fire under most of the Democratic Party. Kerry hasn't created a candidacy around which people can unite. Yes, he has the Hate Bush crowd, the unions, and the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He has money to burn now, and the MoveOn.org's will be spending tons in his favor. But what else? Nothing. There's no drama building up to his selection of a running mate. Nobody really cares if he chooses The Breck Girl or Evan Bayh. (It speaks worlds of the Dems that Kerry has spent so much time trying to lure John McCain onto his ticket). He says he'll not abandon Mr. Bush's policy in Iraq. He doesn't want to repeal the PATRIOT Act, he just wants to tinker with it. Is this the best Kerry can do? Apparently so.
p>Kerry can't be elected by the Hate-Bush crowd, the unions, and civil rights activists. He has to reach beyond the Hollywoodenheads to traditional Dems and to millions of uncommitted voters. There's only so much time he has to convince them to throw out a wartime president. And the time just got drastically reduced.
p>Lil' Billy's ponderous memoir,
, appears this week atop the bestsellers' lists. It will be the worst sort of revisionism, spurring heated media debate about what he's lying about, what he's exaggerating, and what — if anything — he is admitting. There will be so much coverage of Clinton, it will be hard to remember that Kerry is even campaigning.
p>Clinton will be everywhere reminding us of how life was so wonderful back when he was president, shedding tears for his mistakes, and asking our forgiveness again and again. From time to time, he will remember to make some nice comments about Mr. Kerry, but only in passing. His publicity campaign will, as Dick Morris has aptly pointed out, suck all the oxygen away from Kerry. As of tomorrow, Kerry's campaign will sink into media darkness, running a poor third in the attention-getting stakes behind an incumbent president who's running a war and a former president who's flacking a book and his own version of history. Clinton's book campaign won't be enough to defeat John Kerry. Mr. Bush will see to that. But when Kerry loses, he'll be able to look back at one Clinton and forward to another. And then he will understand.
TAS Contributing Editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think.