Kane Webb of The Wall Street Journal writes that the Clinton band of political advisors is staging a reunion–“but their new lead singer is tone-deaf”:
Can Carville and Begala and Greenberg and all the other Clinton all-stars save Kerry from himself? Here’s how two veteran political consultants answer that question: “It has always been our belief that consultants don’t win elections; candidates do.”
Want to guess who’s talking? It was Begala and Carville, writing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in December 1992. The headline: “Who wins the election? It’s the Candidate, Stupid.” Yes the old Clinton hands are getting the band back together, but the problem is, the lead singer is still John Kerry.
On the surface, the return engagement of Carville-Begala “for one show only!” smacks of political desperation. A Hail Mary heave of a staff shakeup. What with this being football season and Arkansas being football country long before it was Clinton Country, let’s continue the gridiron analogy: It’s like a head football coach changing offensive coordinators a week before the opener. Never a good sign.
Dick Morris has speculated that the Clinton troops have infiltrated Camp Kerry as a way to assure defeat and clear the debris for Hillary’s inevitable ’08 run. But having watched the Clinton campaign up close and too personal, I think something else is going on here: ego. The Clintonoids can’t help themselves. They remember the good old days of ’92 and ’96. They saw Al Gore make a Florida of things in 2000. And they can’t sit on the sidelines again. They’re kind of like Joe Gibbs coming back to the Redskins. They see the team making so many mistakes, and they know how to win. Plus, it’s a free shot.
That makes sense, more so than Morris’ conspiracy theory.