Bill Clinton and Chris Wallace

Whether you love Bill Clinton or hate him, one thing cannot be denied: the man knows how to communicate. A lot of righties are portraying his now-famous interview on Fox news as proof that he has no self-control, that he became “unhinged” and “hysterical.” One blogger I read made a big deal about how fat he looked. The bottom line, however, was that this interview was Clinton’s finest hour and finally Fox got hoisted on its own petard. Again, the right saw Clinton’s passion as a sign of insanity. But trust me on this one: if Bush ever, even once, could come across as that articulate, passionate and intellectually uncompromising as Clinton did the right would be standing up cheering him on with tears in their eyes.

This is the single best post I’ve seen to date on the interview. Read it first, then tell me how wrong I am about Clinton.

Update: Everyone has to make up his or her own mind. The video is being scrubbed from the Internet but it can still be seen here.

Also, this clip from the Nation blog referenced above says it all:

When a beaten Wallace tried to cover for himself – “…all I can say is, I’m asking you in good faith because it’s on people’s minds, sir. And I wasn’t…” – Clinton nailed him: “There’s a reason it’s on people’s minds. That’s the point I’m trying to make. There’s a reason it’s on people’s minds because they’ve done a serious disinformation campaign to create that impression.”

Love Bill Clinton or hate him, but understand that his appearance on Fox New Sunday was one of those rare moments in recent American history when a target of our drive-by media shot back.

Yes. As I said, if one of their (the right’s) own had pulled this off, instead of foaming at the mouth they’d be lauding him as a hero. But this is Clinton. All Clinton has to do is show up and they foam at the mouth.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

What kind of Orwelian/Bushist nonsense is this? There is no spinning this into anything but an embarrassment for Clinton. Clinton screwed up. So what? It’s certainly not the first time. Both sides are getting ridiculous over this.

It should be noted that even when Clinton is foaming at the mouth, he is still more articulate (if no more truthful) than Bush. (it was a lovely touch to say he left a plan and richard clarke to deal with it when clarke–one of my fellow Quakers–said there was no such plan).

And Clinton was a mediocre president, too. When one imagines just how much a giant like FDR or Lincoln would tower over Bush, it’s just depressing.

September 26, 2006 @ 12:19 pm | Comment

Johnny, you and I see things from a somewhat diferent perspective. I’m not saying Clinton was or wasn’t a great president. But he was a great communicator. Every liberal I know saw the interview as one of the great moments in US politics. Those on the right had different opinions. But from the persepctive of sheer eloquence, fast thinking and making his points, Clinton’s performance was a masterpiece. At least in my eyes and the eyes of many others.

Agree about FDR and Lincoln towering over Bush. But hell, Spiro Agnew would tower over Bush.

September 26, 2006 @ 1:09 pm | Comment

Well, you ought to go see what Keith Olbermann had to say about said interview.

I liked it.

Go here.

September 26, 2006 @ 1:56 pm | Comment

Lisa, that is spectacular. It’s funny watching the right go ballistic over this. Chuck Johnson actually posted about how deranged Clinton was, but wisely offered no link to his readers, lest they see it for themselves and realize that Clinton was not unhinged but indignant, not rabid but passionate, and he nailed Wallace to the wall. Media watcher Brendan Nyhan, famous for being critical of the left and the right when it comes to spin, shows how the Wurlitzer rapidly picked up the theme that Clinton was nuts. But then, did they have a choice? He was talking facts, and facts are to them what water is to the wicked witch of the west. Time to smear.

September 26, 2006 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

Well, that puts Clinton in fine company. They called Gore “crazy” too. Cause obviously objecting to institutionalized torture, caring about the Constitution and worrying about the environment makes one a loon.

I mean, they’re all so shrill.

September 26, 2006 @ 2:25 pm | Comment

Check out what William Kristol, godfather of the neocons, had to say. He hates Clinton, but he recognizes just how great and how powerful his performance was.

September 26, 2006 @ 3:45 pm | Comment

I love you Bill Clinton!

September 26, 2006 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

Funny, the transcript puts a question mark after

“Now the 9/11 Commission was a political document, too”

Listening to the president speak, I heard an exclamation point!

September 26, 2006 @ 4:35 pm | Comment

OtherLisa, thanks for the K.O. link. I don’t get him down here, and he has certainly developed into a different person than the one I’d occasionally watch last year. Powerful stuff, almost Howard Beale quality. The Clinton/Wallace flap (kid’s related to Mike Wallce, isn’t he?) has gotten airplay and newspaper inches here, with the press on the Prez’s side. Bit that’s just my point of view as one of those crazed Bush-haters…

September 26, 2006 @ 9:11 pm | Comment

The Keith Olbermann editorial was spectacular!

And so was Bill

The man is a force to be reckoned with and I am glad he has finally come out swinging

September 27, 2006 @ 12:51 am | Comment

Clinton was magnificent.

All the proof you need is the sorry display of right-wingers, stuck with their pathetic loser of a president (and there’s just no denying it at this point), twitching in spastic convulsions of mass cognitive dissonance. They can’t stand it.

And Olbermann publicly calling a sitting president a “coward” for trying to blame Clinton (by proxy) for the monumental shortcomings of his own dismal presidency, was remarkable.

I don’t always agree with Clinton, but it tremendously cathartic to see him hand Wallace his ass on a platinum platter.

Let’s say it again because it feels so good: Clinton was magnificent.

September 27, 2006 @ 7:24 am | Comment

It really can’t be said enough: Clinton was magnificent.

Johnny K (way up at the top of the comments), why don’t you join us and say it, too? Come on, 1-2-3, “Clinton was magnificent.” There, didn’t that feel good? You know he was magnificent and we all know it. Why else would the GOP be going so ballistic?

September 27, 2006 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

It really can’t be said enough: Clinton was magnificent.

Johnny K (way up at the top of the comments), why don’t you join us and say it, too? Come on, 1-2-3, “Clinton was magnificent.” There, didn’t that feel good? You know he was magnificent and we all know it. Why else would the GOP be going so ballistic?

September 27, 2006 @ 8:01 pm | Comment

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