During the '96 re-election campaign I watched then-President Bill Clinton schmooze Mother Evelyn Davis, an old, respected, black inner-city leader and founder of Tiny Tots, Des Moines' first daycare center for low-income children and their families. But her response wasn't exactly what he expected.
"I got a real problem with your welfare reform. It cut the money for children whose moms don't get paid enough to afford childcare or health insurance and it's gonna put moms out of work and their kids out of preschool and left without insurance" said Mother Davis.
President Clinton tried charming her with a compliment on her colorful hat but she wasn't buying it.
"If you don't give some money back to those kids, they're the ones who are gonna suffer. What are they gonna do?" asked Mother Davis.
President Clinton promised to give some help but help never came.
When the money started running out, Mother Davis had to take that colorful hat off and pass it around to the local corporations and wealthy donors who kept open the doors of Tiny Tots for another few years.
There's no doubt that Mother Davis was a fan of Bill Clinton the first time he ran for president, but after his less-than-compassionate welfare reform that put another coffin nail in the early childhood education for poor children, she wasn't such a fan anymore and where was the child champion Hillary Clinton? She was hawking her ghost-written book, "It Takes a Village."
Add NAFTA to the list of Clinton accomplishments that threw millions of Americans out of their jobs along with welfare reform that made it even more difficult for struggling mothers and their children and I can't see how the Clintons kept their popularity with low-income Americans of every color.
Now, the retooled Hillary Clinton is running on her rewritten historic credentials as a "seasoned and experienced Washington pol and White House occupant (oh, but also a "change agent) and long-time supporter of children - "I've worked for thirty-five years for children....blah, blah, blah - and gaining the votes of low income voters. I don't get it.
And despite her few seconds of nearly tearing up in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton and her husband, the so-called "first black president" - and their surrogates - have unleashed a string of dirty tricks and innuendos set on destroying Barack Obama, the first truly black candidate who has a real shot at becoming president.
Despite their vow to keep race out of the debate and keep to the issues, which only helps Hillary Clinton as she has lost support in the black community because of their recent gaffes about Dr. Martin Luther King and Obama's 'dream' this did not stop her from taking a few nasty swipes at Obama during the debate in Nevada.
She compared Obama with GW Bush. By picking up on Obama's admission of his messy desk, Hillary said that as a president, "you have to have a manager, someone who can keep the train on the tracks essentially," then leaping to the conclusion that just because Obama keeps a messy desk he's not a good manager alluding to Bush by saying, "we've already seen what happens..."
Of course, Hillary Clinton has the reputation as a good manager. I don't get that, either.
If she's such a great manager, how did the Clinton White House get so messed-up, twisted-up, and tortured by others as much as by their own actions?
Travelgate, White Water, the Lincoln bedroom rentals for big donors, and highly sleazy presidential pardons minutes before exiting the White House, not to mention - dare I? - late night pizza deliveries when more than a slice was being deposited on the Oval desk.
Maybe, Bill Clinton could have used a vetted aide to straighten his desk as opposed to cute interns performing less savory duties. Rarely does the msm mention those 'bad old days' of the Clinton Administration. I guess it's not PC.
But it's fair game so long as Hillary is running on the best of Bill Clinton's record as president, she's got to take some of the rap for the worst of those years, which includes a record of half-truths, scandals, and downright lies.
Her biggest lies as a presidential candidate are claims to "be ready from day one to be president," and the "most experienced candidate." Both are laughable.
She has precisely the same amount of elected experience that Obama has on his resume. John Edwards' six years in the U.S. Senate makes him about equally qualified, too. Unfortunately for Edwards and Obama, their spouses were never president.
There is nothing that can possibly prepare anyone to become president, not being First Lady, fighting the Right Wing conspiracy, or your unfaithful husband.
Frankly, I don't care about Bill Clinton's sex scandals but they did derail the Clinton Administration from the nation's serious business as well as waste valuable political capital, and nearly throw him - and her - out of the White House.
Do we really want to go back there again?
I'm just glad Mother Davis isn't here to see this tragic farce. It's doubtful that Hillary would get her vote after the dirty campaign she's been running against a formidable black candidate who has called new and old voters to our better angels rather than wallowing in the mud with the Clinton political machine that only promises more of the same in Washington and heaven help us, the White House in 09.