Ron Rosenbaum

My Theory of Bill Clinton's Coffee Remark: The Game-Change Mystery Woman

I’m the one who called him “Lower than a Yard Dog” in my last post about him. But I think he might have sunk even lower in my estimation.

Somehow part of me had, evidently, continued to be conned by his “sincerity” about civil rights. It was his best schtick — the Southern white boy who resisted the culture of segregation and racism. I mean there’s some truth there, isn’t there?

But the reports from Game Change, the new book about the 2008 presidential election, are — and as yet Clinton has not denied them — that he tried to make a joke to Teddy about Obama when ostensibly seeking Teddy’s endorsement for Hillary. He joked that Obama was so unready that a few years ago he would have been serving them coffee.

It’s that “serving them” thing that is so obtuse and offensive, and we must assume that the story came from Teddy Kennedy or someone he told it to before he died.

What more could he have done than to alienate the ailing senator whose family identification with the civil rights cause was one of the chief glories of its decidedly mixed record?


You know what: I have a heretical theory about this remark. It’s just too obvious to be a “slip.” Wouldn’t the whole episode make more sense if Bill was deliberately out to sabotage his wife’s run in ways she’d never know? And maybe for reasons he doesn’t really know. Although I think there’s one reason that at least left him conflicted enough to do something like this more than half-consciously.

I think it comes down to the girlfriend. If he had to live in the White House he’d be like a chained yard dog. He wanted his wife to lose. I wouldn’t put it past him.

And by the way, I think the new book vindicates what I wrote way back in the fall of 2007 on this blog about a candidate/spouse sexual scandal that DC insiders (even the Salahis I think) knew about but were keeping from the rest of the electorate. Because we couldn’t handle the truth I guess. We needed a media nanny. I’m against printing uncorroborated stories. But I also object to the media insiders writing stories skewed by untested “knowledge” they won’t share with their readers. I don’t know what the answer to the question is. I think it’s a real judgement call, but that was the point of that 2007 post: let’s not fool ourselves that the calls are being made one way or another and often with an agenda behind the decision.

And yes I know the name, the one I’m presuming Game Change authors omitted for reasons of moral scruple or lawyering . But I deliberately left it out then and I’m going to leave it our again. I don’t like naming names. Although I can’t imagine it not coming out with this further instance of Bill Clinton’s yard dog machiavellianism.