Peggy Noonan is ecstatic that the Democrats nominated Barack Obama, and at least half the reason why is that they didn’t nominate Hillary Clinton:
Mrs. Clinton would have been a disaster as president. Mr. Obama may prove a disaster, and John McCain may, but she would be. Mr. Obama may lie, and Mr. McCain may lie, but she would lie. And she would have brought the whole rattling caravan of Clintonism with her—the scandal-making that is compulsive, the drama that is unending, the sheer, daily madness that is her, and him.
We have been spared this. Those who did it deserve to be thanked. May I rise in a toast to the Democratic Party.
They had a great and roaring fight, a state-by-state struggle unprecedented in the history of presidential primaries. They created the truly national primary. They brought 36 million people to the polls, including the young, minorities and first-time voters. They brought a kind of dogged brio to the year.
All of this is impressive, but more than that, they threw off Clintonism. They threw off the idea that corruption is part of the game, an acceptable fact. They threw off the idea that dynasticism was an unstoppable dynamic in modern politics, that Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton could, would, go on forever. They said: “No, that is not the way we do it.”
They threw off the idea of inevitability. Mrs. Clinton didn’t lose because she had no money or organization, she didn’t lose because she had no fame or name, she didn’t lose because her policies were unusual or dramatically unpopular within her party. She lost because enough Democrats looked at her and thought: I don’t like that, I don’t like the way she does it, I’m not going there. Most candidates lose over things, not over their essential nature. But that is what happened here. For all her accomplishments and success, it was her sketchy character that in the end did her in.
So then the question comes up: Given the closeness of the contest, should Hillary be Obama’s VP pick? (No, say I.) No, says Peggy Noonan. Here is one of her reasons:
She would never be content to be vice president. She’d be plotting against him from day one. She’d put poison in his tea.
Trust me, in the succeeding paragraphs, there is no rim-shot-bada-bing to indicate Noonan is kidding. She would expect Hillary to poison Obama, if it meant she would be in the Oval Office.
Noonan’s column is not the first place I’ve seen this “Hillary would poison Obama” meme. I wish I’d been saving all the links. They mostly appear in comment threads, or if it’s the main blogger, they usually try to let you know they’re joking.
Keep an eye out for it.
When her husband was president, the Clintons were accused in some right wing rubber rooms of having people murdered. I don’t remember the details, but there was supposed to be a list of premature deaths, and somehow it was tied in with cocaine shipments into the Mena Airport in Arkansas. They were also accused of using very rough tactics to silence “bimbo eruptions.” Kathleen Willey’s dead cat, for example.
The mainstream media thought these accusations were hideous, hysterical, evidence of a vast right-wing conspiracy led by crazy people who would say anything.
Now, the suggestion that Hillary would use the Office of the Vice President to carry out a murder plot against the president has become a normal part of political discourse, across the ideological spectrum.
You know, she almost won the nomination, folks. If the Democratic Party had used Republican primary rules, she would have won. Would these same commentators be suggesting the Democratic Party had nominated a murderer if she was the presidential candidate? Would they be worrying about John McCain’s water glass at the presidential debates the way they’re worrying about Barack Obama’s tea?