April 14, 2016

What They’re Saying… About Bill Clinton & His Defense Of The Crime Bill

One week ago, former President Bill Clinton vigorously defended the 1994 crime bill that he signed and for which his wife Hillary Clinton lobbied Congress. That action is now deemed unacceptable to today’s Democratic Party, and as a result, the Clintons are taking a drubbing in the press for it. Check out what they’re saying about Bill’s meltdown in Philadelphia and what it means for the race moving forward:

BuzzFeed: On three separate occasions this spring, activists linked to the Black Lives Matter movement have surprised the Clintons with questions about the “superpredator” remark. Each time, the conversation has become tense and abrupt — less give-and-take than two sides talking about the same topic, but from two irreconcilable angles.

The Daily Beast: Though he’s five years younger than Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton can seem like a diminished presence, frail and often hoarse on the stump. But listening to the winding speech he’s been delivering for 12 days now on behalf of his wife—one that digresses at length into a defense of his own eight years in the Oval Office, which ended nearly 16 years ago—the issue may be less that the old great has lost something on his fastball, but that he no longer relates to the Zeitgest of his party.

The New Yorker: But that was exactly how Clinton looked: like a man groping blindly through the tricky and half-remembered terrain of race, trying to recall where he’d been able to find moral authority before. It eluded him. By the next morning he’d “almost” apologized.

The Hill: Former President Bill Clinton’s clash with black protestors has raised new questions about whether he could create problems for Hillary Clinton, who has so far drawn overwhelming support for her presidential campaign from African-American Democrats. The former president’s fiery response Thursday to activists who disrupted a campaign rally in Philadelphia brought back unwelcome memories of his performance on the trail in 2008. Back then, Clinton became enmeshed in a number of race-related furors as his wife battled against then-Sen. Barack Obama. Those controversies are widely thought to have helped consolidate Obama’s support among African-Americans.

BuzzFeed: Tamika Mallory, a prominent activist and member of the board of directors of Justice League NYC, said the former president’s views are out of touch. “Bill Clinton’s comments beg the question whether his apology — about how his policies as president negatively impacted the black community — was genuine or a campaign strategy to make Americans move past the devastation his administration caused,” she said. “What we saw yesterday is a person who is very much out of touch and I believe his true colors have once again appeared.”

TIME Magazine: Here, distilled for all to see, Clinton revealed one of his contrasting sides. Not the smooth, white Southern politician who moves among African Americans with ease and grace, but the smug and paternal Southern white boy who simply wants you to hush and swallow his lies whole.