What the hell was Bill Clinton thinking, inviting Laura Bush to deliver the keynote address at his latest Global Initiative conference? Talk about speeching with the enemy.
Have those private White House lunches Mr. Clinton occasionally has with Laura's hubby distorted his sense of time, place, and perspective -- causing him to utterly forget that there are less than seven weeks before a crucial election... an election Democrats should walk away with but are in danger of letting slip through their hands, an election that could give Democrats investigative power over the many outrages perpetrated by Laura's husband, an election in which the Democrats' strongest campaign message is linking congressional Republicans to the disastrous policies of said husband?
I realize that the goals of the Global Initiative -- tackling poverty, AIDS, religious intolerance, and climate change -- are noble, and that the conference aims to avoid partisan politics. And I've heard Clinton's lofty pleading: "Shouldn't there be some forum where Americans and citizens of the world can put aside there differences and find common ground."
But this is not a time for Bill Clinton to be acting like a former president, floating above the political fray. This is a time for Bill Clinton to be acting like a Democratic former president. There is a world of difference between the two.
There couldn't be less ambiguity about the stark choice being offered to the electorate in November. Do you want to let George Bush continue to have a free hand in destroying this country or do you want to pull the plug on him? It's that simple.
So why cloud the issue by giving a powerful symbol of the Bush administration a giant platform to deliver an upbeat message to the world about her husband's good intentions, announcing a major White House initiative on providing clean drinking water to Africa?
By making nice with Laura and promoting a kumbaya, "we're all in this together" atmosphere Clinton is blurring the very real distinctions between Democrats and Republicans and homogenizing the '06 race. And homogeneity is death in elections.
With the most articulate spokesman for their Party enjoying lunches at the White House, partying at Kennebunkport, and inviting a presidential proxy to kick off his conference, is it any wonder that Democrats are finding it hard to maintain traction as they enter the stretch run to the midterms?
In the recent New Yorker profile, Clinton said of the Bush administration: "I just wish I were there trying to articulate an alternative vision."
So do we. So do we.