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Perhaps it’s all for the best. David Gregory doesn’t need the competition, Helen Thomas hasn’t so far hit the jackpot with that same shtick, and the confines of a press briefing would likely not provide Kennedy, who recently abandoned a book on St. Francis of Assisi to write a series of children’s books on American heroes, the kind of freedom necessary to trumpet the apocalypse that, say, a retirement home community speech allows.
“We’ve been through a national nightmare in this country,” Kennedy railed, painting a portrait of a Bush Administration that had used “all kinds of ingenious machinations to conceal its radical agenda from the American people, including Orwellian rhetoric,” and filled government with individuals willing to subvert the law in order to “enrich the president’s corporate paymasters.” Now we were hated in the countries that jubilantly greeted him and his father in the 1960s, he said.
“It took 230 years of disciplined, visionary, restrained leadership by Republican and Democratic presidents alike to build up those vast reservoirs, those oceans of public love for our country and our people,” Kennedy said, “and in five short years, through monumental incompetence and arrogance these people in the White House have drained this reservoir dry.”
And who do you call when you want a vast reservoir of love replenished? Improbable as it may seem the answer is…Hillary Clinton, not to be confused with any past ne’er-do-wells the Democratic Party may have put up.
“You remember Jimmy Carter?” Kennedy asked. Most nodded, some with sudden bemused smiles, more than a few looking as if they retired before Carter left office. “He had many wonderful ideas about human rights, about how to make our country a dignified place, but…he didn’t know how to do the things you need to do to govern.”
James Earl Carter, Jr. was, in short, no Hillary Clinton, and Kennedy added, “In many ways, we have to go back to that Golden Age of the Clinton presidency.” The choice laid out that day in the Tarrytown Road Senior Apartments, however, was not between Gold or Silver ages, but either a Golden Age or something resembling Dante’s Fifth Circle of Hell. (Sure, we could bump it up to the Ninth Circle, but there is no need for hyperbole at a time like this.) Suffice to say, Split-Pea Positivity was not the soup of the day in the Bobby’s kids’ New Hampshire kitchen.
Hillary’s “competence” and “experience” were presented as a bulwark against the imminent downfall of the Shining City upon a Hill itself. Bush, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend argued, was the “worst president we’ve had in our history.” Worse: “Absolutely the worst.” And Hillary? “She could have done anything,” Kathleen said dreamily. “She wanted to help children. And that’s what I love about her. She’s had a passion for kids her entire life.”
Not Mark Foley kid-passion, mind you. More like, justify-every-expansion-of-government-as-for-the-kids kid-passion.
Kerry Kennedy lamented she would “spend the rest of my life undoing what this administration has done last seven years.” Bobby repeated this cry. Kathleen nodded her assent vigorously. Pleasant as they are in conversation after the speeches, one can’t help escape the conclusion that recent years have left Bobby’s kids with a dour world outlook. Seeing how upset they are is almost enough to make you vote for a Clinton Restoration, just as an act of personal charity.
Unsurprising, then, that it was the residents, thrilled though they were to have met authentic Kennedys, who made the more compelling argument.
“I’m 85 years old and I’d like to see a woman president before I die,” Margaret Batchelder offered simply. She never bragged about it, but later I was told Batchelder was an indefatigable campaigner for Hillary, licking envelopes, holding signs, making phone calls. “Once when I said that, one of the old men here told me, ‘America will never vote for a woman president.’”
“What did you say?” I asked.
“Why, I said, ‘Don’t bet your life on it.’”
Maybe this was when I should have had the first inkling that the conventional wisdom of Barack Obama walking off with the prize was a bit off.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?