What does Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama really mean?
In addition to seriously boosting Obama’s chances for the Democratic nomination by anointing him as the generational heir to John F. Kennedy, there’s something else that’s just as important for the body politic: Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, and the voters of South Carolina may have personally tolled the death knell for the Clintons’ reprehensible politics of personal destruction.
It’s about time.
For more than 30 years, no one has been able to stop Bill and Hillary Clinton from routinely acting on their shared base instinct: to annihilate anyone who gets in their way, in whatever way it takes, however long it takes, whatever it costs, and then to enjoy watching their targets suffer.
Throughout their long public careers, they’ve had no moral overseers, no one to challenge them. The sycophants surrounding them simply implement their orders, never questioning them. So after successfully employing their slash and burn tactics for years, they’ve come to truly believe that their reprehensible politics are justified, even necessary.
Remember Hillary’s glee when she announced that the “fun part” of the campaign was about to begin — her attacks on her fellow Democrats? She was serious.
The Clintons have repeatedly and successfully embraced the politics of personal destruction — and enjoyed every minute of it.
In Washington, Arkansas, and recently in South Carolina, they’ve used whatever slimy tactics they felt they needed, ruining reputations, invading the privacy of their targets by dispatching private detectives to comb their records and troll through their trash, lying about their opponents, blackmailing and threatening women who dared to say yes — or even no — to Bill Clinton, releasing confidential employment records.
Remember how the Clintonites released Linda Tripp’s confidential employment files to Jane Mayer of The New Yorker after Clinton hit man Harold Ickes met with Tripp’s boss?
Years later, the Department of Defense settled a lawsuit with Tripp for over $600,000 for invading her privacy. And then there were the stories branding Monica Lewinsky as a stalker who was trying to hurt the president.
Those were traced back to Sidney Blumenethal, a Clinton White House adviser, and the author of the right-wing conspiracy theory that Hillary so loves. Of course, then it turned out that this stalker had been called by the president from the White House hundreds of time and invited into the Oval Office for sex in the private kitchen.
Then there was Gennifer Flowers, smeared by George Stephanopoulos and James Carville as a liar and opportunist. Eventually, Bill Clinton admitted under oath that he, in fact, had a sexual relationship with Flowers. On it goes. And none of these folks have ever apologized for their as the brass knuckles enforcers of the Clintons.
Throughout the recent primaries, Bill Clinton has been Hillary’s hit man, especially in South Carolina where he was in charge of branding Obama as the "black candidate." Shamelessly distorting Obama’s words and deliberately using the race card to try and marginalize the first serious African-American candidate for president, Bill Clinton worked overtime at stirring dissension.
It’s been revolting. And it seemed that no one could stop them.
Until Barack Obama. Until Ted Kennedy. Until South Carolina. Until the voters said enough.
Now the voters of South Carolina and the Kennedys have stepped forward and openly challenged the tawdry Clinton politics of personal destruction, their hit job on Obama, their use of the race card, their claims of dynastic privilege.
On Saturday, 55 percent of the South Carolina voters said no to the Clintons. After listening to the two of them disparage Obama, distort his record, dis his hopes and dreams for America, South Carolina backed Obama and his politics of hope. And Ted Kennedy, in his lofty endorsement of Obama, served notice on the Clintons that the days of their politics of personal destruction are over.
Apparently Sen. Kennedy called the Clintons last week and demanded an immediate end to their transparent racial politics and attempts to destroy Obama. They ignored him.
After the polls closed, Bill Clinton’s surly and irrelevant reference to Jesse Jackson’s showing in South Carolina 20 years ago was meant to diminish Obama’s victory. But the press and the public — and apparently Sen. Kennedy — caught the unattractive performance on YouTube.
Now, for once, someone has challenged the Clintons’ dirty, outdated, and unacceptable politics.
Ted Kennedy has made it clear that the Democratic Party and the voters of America are no longer going to tolerate and ignore the Clintons sordid personal politics.
© Dick Morris & Eileen McGann