Belmont Club

Public discourse

If you want a friend, buy a dog.Kathryn Jean Lopez at the National Review believes, after watching a video interview of Bill Clinton on ABC’s The View,  that it does “not suggest he is enthused for Obama.”  That is an understatement. Clinton’s performance is simultaneously an awesome demonstration of his abilities as a salesman and an enduring testament to the shortcomings of his character. The former President took nearly every opportunity to express his admiration for John McCain and Sarah Palin, while confessing — with just the ghost of a sigh — that it was his stern duty to support Barack Obama as a “loyal Democrat”. He uttered those words with all the enthusiasm of a man trying to convince the his audience he’s drinking laxative because he likes the taste.

And in fairness,  Bill’s less than ringing endorsement followed on suggestions that Barack Obama shied away from choosing Hillary as his running mate because of him.

Walters then proceeded to ask Clinton if he thought the reason Obama didn’t want his wife as his VP was because “he didn’t want you in the bargain.” Ever the politician, Clinton responded: “I don’t know the answer to that. I think he felt more comfortable with another choice. And you have to respect that.” Of course this did not satisfy Walters, who continued to press the issue, asking, “Was it because he didn’t want you along?” Clinton retorted: “I have no idea. If anybody thought that, they were just reading the political press and believing it. I wouldn’t have been in this race if Hillary hadn’t run.”

‘No idea’, ‘loyal Democrat’: wonderful phrases all.  Politics is one profession where it is customary to say what is nobody believes, least of all yourself, in the interest of keeping your lips moving. Friendship, like outraged surprise in the public life, is sometimes as genuine as a three dollar bill. Nobody seems to mind, so why should you? Maybe there are benefits to being in politics., but one of consolations of living an ordinary life is that nobody marries you for money or pretends to friendship for gain.

Tip Jar.