“He reeks of yesterday. If I think of an old calendar, I think of George Bush.”
… That was James Carville in “The War Room,” the documentary about Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign — a campaign that is now 23 years old.
Now he reeks of yesterday.
In case you missed it, Carville was on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” earlier, where he was scolded by the host like a naughty schoolboy.
On multiple occasions, he attempted to divert attention from the current email scandal by citing the various controversies that emerged during the original Clinton years (“Whitewater,” “Filegate,” “Travelgate,” “Pardongate.”) Yes, I do believe Hillary has the potential to tap into 90s nostalgia — but I’m not sure reminding voters about numerous scandals and controversies that inevitably follow the Clintons will make us yearn for yesterday. As Jim Antle observed, “I haven’t felt this way since Chumbawamba was tearing up the charts and Brett Favre was in his 20s. And I still own a CD tower and an AOL email account.”
Another problem with Carville: He’s too colorful.
Here’s my theory: Obama’s “no drama” strategy involves feigning insouciance. He and his team respond to scandals by boring us to death. They act like there’s no there there, and we generally believe them.
The Clintons, on the other hand, are utterly interesting. And this transcends the principals. Seriously, James Carville might be a caricature of a Southerner, but he has panache. But here’s the thing: Sometimes interesting is bad. It flames the fire of coverage. Whereas Obama and his apologists tamp down on stories by boring us to death, the Clintons (who seem to relish the gamesmanship and spin) practically invite scrutiny and coverage.
Hillary might want to call off the counterattack dogs. Not that they’ve ever really gone away, but the reemergence of Carville (and other spinmeisters like Lanny Davis) as Hillary surrogates risks reminding us that being ready for Hillary also means being ready for hilarity. And scandal.
You can watch the video here (courtesy of National Review):