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:: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 ::

Andrew Sullivan evicerates Sidney Blumenthal's version of Bill Clinton in a well written critique of Sidneys book on the Clinton presidency. The following is just a teaser.
The consummation of his love affair with Mr. Clinton came in New Hampshire, where the anointed one somehow managed to survive the first of so many sex scandals and came in second. In The New Republic, I remember reading the first draft of Sid's account--at one point, Sid described Mr. Clinton as morphing into a pale blue flame of incandescent fire--and wondering whether Sid hadn't finally lost it. But he hadn't. He'd seen finally a Democrat with the ruthlessness to win: "He was transcending the kind of media attack that had brought down Hart and the calculated, negative campaign that had paralyzed Dukakis. His performance, upon which the entire fate of the campaign depended, was the most electrifying political moment I had witnessed since I was a boy in the Chicago stadium."

Think about that last statement. Between 1960 and 1992, Sid had witnessed the entire trauma of the 1960¹s, the Kennedy assassinations, the King murder, the Vietnam war, the L.B.J. withdrawal, the McCarthy candidacy, Nixon's impeachment and resignation, the Carter calamity, the Reagan revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and on and on. But his biggest thrill in three decades came when a minor, sleazy Southern politician came in second in New Hampshire. Why? Because for the first time, Sid smelled power--and the kind of amoral tenacity he respected.

Once you realize this, everything else in the book is completely, utterly predictable.

:: Mark 11:28 AM [+] ::
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