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Friday, June 18, 2010

Job-Swapping and Populism: perhaps the wrong guy is president
Posted by Jill | 5:50 AM
The idiotic Sally Quinn, unable to relinquish her role as Washington powerbroker now that she no longer has a regular column in the Washington Post, opined yesterday that perhaps Hillary Clinton should be Vice President and Joe Biden should be Secretary of State. It's amusing to remember that the same woman who is now saying this:
Clinton has done an incredible job as secretary of state. First of all, she has worked harder than anyone should ever be expected to. She has managed to do the impossible: She is the ambassador of the United States to the world, maintaining her credibility while playing the bad guy to President Obama's good guy, such as with North Korea, Iran and Israel, and still looking good. She has been a true team player. If Clinton is dissatisfied with her role, you would never know it. She has been loyal and supportive to the president and has maintained a good relationship with him and with others in the White House. If she is being left out of the policymaking, or being sent on trips to keep her out of town, she has not shown it. She is cheerful, thoughtful, serious and diligent. There are no horror stories about her coming out of the State Department. Most notable, though, is that Bill Clinton has not been the problem that so many anticipated. He has been supportive of her and of Obama, and he has stayed out of the limelight and been discreet about his own life.

...was singing a different tune during the Clinton years, as she recited a litany of Washington society clutching its pearls about Bill Clinton.. And as recently as 2007, Quinn was all up in arms because Hillary Clinton refused to kiss her ring:
Sally Quinn: In terms of entertaining being partisan, it started with Clinton. The people who were seen as “hostesses” were people who had money or were raising money.… When the stuff about Clinton and women started appearing, in the second term, things shut down. Everybody wanted to go hide in a cave. For people willing to defend him, it became intolerable for them to go out.

In 2000, after being elected to the Senate, Hillary Clinton bought a fashionable house near the British and Italian Embassies. Before her run for the presidency, she added on to the house in order to have more space for entertaining.

Since Hillary has been here in the Senate for the last eight years, I think I’ve seen her twice. Otherwise, she is at fund-raisers. She entertains constantly, but it is all political. It is people who work for her or raise money for her.

Quinn is the perfect embodiment for everything that is wrong with the unholy marriage of petty government and an equally petty press. However, she may be onto something here, though not the job-swap she's thinking.

In retrospect, despite the fact that Joe Biden was known as "The Senator From MBNA", perhaps he was the best candidate all along. I always thought that Biden was a hack to end all hacks, but if what America wants now is passionate populism, Biden would be the guy. Watch him yesterday talk to the press about Rep. Joe Barton's groveling before BP head Tony Hayward:

Now, Biden's record of coddling the credit card industry gives lie as well to the idea of populism, of being for the political rhetorical image of the lunchpail guy, the guy who, well, takes the train every day to work and comes home tired (except where that guy on the train is a banker). But if the state of politics today is all about the image, the symbols -- Ronald Reagan in a cowboy hat automatically meaning he's a rugged individualist, George Bush in a flightsuit perceived as genuine toughness instead of drag, BP being shaken down by the black man in the White House, when why SHOULDN'T the former Senator from MBNA be the face of American populism, especially in the aftermath of Joe Barton's "Poor Pitiful BP" moment? He's a Washington guy, he was always a favorite on the Sunday gasbag shows -- perhaps HE should take the top spot for a while. If nothing else, he's shut up the cacophony of press bullshit long enough to be able to do his job.

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