Today's Blogs

Bill and George’s Not So Likely Adventure

Bloggers flay Bill Clinton for his comments that Hillary, if elected, would send him and the first President Bush to clean up after George W. They also respond to the news Fidel Castro is pondering retirement, as well as the return of Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.

Bill and George’s not so likely adventure: Bill Clinton said Monday that the “first thing” Hillary would do as president would be to send him on a world tour with fellow former President George H.W. Bush to fix the bad reputation the United States has garnered  under the current President Bush. Predicting that Bush 41 would quickly shoot down the idea (he did), bloggers of all political stripes questioned Clinton’s commitment to his wife’s campaign.

Jim Geraghty at the conservative National Review’s Campaign Spot, holds up the comment as further evidence that Bill Clinton isn’t watching what he’s saying on Hillary’s campaign trail. Clinton is “used to getting away with little white lies,” and, unfortunately for him, he is a “1992 media-loves-me-and-doesn’t-check-my-facts kind of guy in a 2007-2008 world.” Similarly, Jack Risko at the right-leaning Dinocrat wonders: “Did Bill Clinton consult with either (a) his wife; or (b) Bush 41, before he gave that response?”

Others are cueing the Dynasty soundtrack. At the nonpartisan group blog Political Inquirer, Fooser speculates: “It’s getting pretty clear these days that the Bush/Clinton dynasty is more than just two families who happen to get elected one after the other, but they are actually working together and actively providing help to one another despite their supposed policy differences.” Modemocrat, at the lefty Daily Kos, isn’t happy, either: “This is CHANGE? … Not only is this totally implausible and impractical that 83-year-old Bush I is going to admit his son’s failings and accomplish all that much to fix them. … I don’t think running on the record of the Bush-Clinton dynasty is a winning strategy for Democrats in 2008.” TalkingPointsMemo’s Eric Kleefeld points out that a simple denial from Bush 41 will prove Bill a bluffer. “And beyond that, do Democratic activists really want to hear that someone named George Bush will be recruited to assist in Hillary’s foreign policy?”

Conservative JammieWearingFool is full of zingers, doubting there’s anything the elder Bush can do to help “unless he recently became a plastic surgeon.” The righties at Pamibe are, too, but they turn the heat back on Bill: “Bill Clinton really doesn’t want the little woman to succeed, does he? … I love the smell of sabotage in the morning.” A self-described “liberal Christian” at Ablogination sees further evidence for a previously argued point: “You’ve read me state that there is not enough difference between the Bush family and the Clinton family, that a vote for Hillary is a vote for Bush. … Well, Bill Clinton agrees with us. Now what do you have to say?”

Read more about Bill Clinton’s comments.

“Clinging” no more: In a note read on Cuban television, decrepit Cuban dictator Fidel Castro indicated that he did not intend to “cling” to power forever, hinting that he might be stepping down soon. Bloggers retort that they’ve heard all that before, and they’ll believe it when they see it.

On Reason’s Hit & Run, David Weigel analyzes the note and wonders what a Castro retirement would mean for the 2008 presidential election: “The image of Cuba’s power structure as a decrepit Fidel-Raul consulship isn’t quite true, and there are relatively young thugs who could take power from Castro. (I wonder if the election-swinging GOP vote in Florida would be quite as hot to turn out if Castro resigned before November 2008.)”

But anti-Castro blogger Charlie Bravo at KillCastro isn’t buying it: “The mainstream media is over reacting, reading this as a retirement announcement when it’s simply the contrary. This guy’s not relinquishing to power. He’s clinging to power. … He ‘writes’ a lengthy letter, and includes these lines at the end, and wow, it’s like the world is coming to a stop. Do not forget that this is not about Fidel Castro being dead or alive, this is about the freedom and the future of a 12 million people nation, without space for another Fidel Castro.” William K. Wolfrum, a freelance writer in Brazil, has a lighter take: “The letter sent McDonald’s stock soaring, as the hamburger chain already has 7,000 prefabricated fast food joints ready to dot the island of Cuba the moment they finally admit that Castro is no more.”

Henry “Conductor” Gomez, at the anti-Castro blog Babalu, takes the opportunity to remind the blogosphere what living under Castro is like: “Next time you talk to a Castro apologist, tell them to imagine the best president that they have ever known in their lifetime. And then ask them how they’d feel if that president was in power for 49 years. I think most people would say that 49 years, or 40, or 30, or 25, or 20 is too long even if he’s extremely popular. Then ask the Fidelista what it might be like to live under the worst president they’ve ever known (no doubt they will say George W. Bush) for 49 years.”

Read more about Fidel Castro’s “retirement.”

Striking a deal: NBC late-night stars Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno will return to their programs on Jan. 2, without writers, as the writers’ strike continues.

Defamer opens the discussion with a prediction for Obrien’s re-debut: “We’re sure that O’Brien’s forced return to work will be an emotionally stirring affair; once he finishes apologizing to his audience for the shortfall in quality that will inevitably plague his writerless product, he’ll be joined on stage by the Masturbating Bear, a member of his late night family who’ll continue to be adversely affected by his joke-writing staff’s absence.”

On Top of the Ticket, the political blog of the Los Angeles Times, Joe Matthews suggests that the return of the late-hour jokesters might shake up the presidential race: “Fresh versions of their shows have been one of the victims of the strike by the Writers Guild of America. So for several weeks, presidential candidates who say something silly or are the subject of embarrassing revelations may have been hurt—but they haven’t become a national punchline.With the various talk-show hosts pursuing ways to return to the air even as the strike continues, that should change.”

Read more about the return of the late-night hosts.