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Jewish World Review August 16, 2000 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Consumer Reports

AlGore can run but
he can't hide -- IF YOU EVER doubted your instincts that the mainstream media's bias inhibited their analytical abilities, just remember their chorus warning of an impeachment backlash against Republicans.

Most conservatives always knew that these predictions were counterintuitive at best and devoid of reality at worst. As successful as Clinton and his henchmen were in unconscionably demonizing Clinton's accusers, it never seemed very likely that such trumped-up charges would overshadow Clinton's wrongdoing. Unfortunately for the Democratic Party and Al Gore, they cast their lot with Bill Clinton when they wrapped themselves around his scandals instead of following the honorable example of Sen. Howard Baker and other Republicans during Watergate.

As we prepare for the Democratic Convention, our attention is repeatedly drawn to the specter of Bill Clinton haunting every ounce of Gore's glory. Democratic leaders want you to believe, by the way, that the focus on Clinton is an artificial Republican construct -- that George Bush and Dick Cheney are trying, artificially, to saddle Gore and his party with "Clinton fatigue."

I dare say that even if Republicans were completely mum about Clinton's contamination of the Democrats' electoral prospects, this phenomenon would continue to surge forward of its own irrepressible momentum. As this last week proved, Bill Clinton can't stand any appreciable time away from the limelight. He told Pastor Bill Hybels and a congregation of ministers in Chicago last week that he loves this job. Likewise, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Clinton "demonstrated an intense interest in all aspects of the campaign to succeed him." Unhappily for Al Gore, Hillary's high-profile candidacy ensures a daily national reminder of Clintonism, as well.

It is common knowledge that Gore and his aides constantly complain about the president's actions. Gore himself is said to be "steamed" about the amount of money Bill and Hillary are raising and how much attention they are drawing.

Democrats can run from Bill but they just can't hide. They are entwined in a symbiotic relationship because he saved the party and the party saved him. The latest Newsweek poll shows that 52 percent of the voters think that being tied too closely to Clinton's sex scandals is a serious problem for Gore's presidential campaign.

Monday morning's newspapers illustrate the magnitude of Gore's Clinton-problem. In National Journal's Earlybird, the Clinton issue was screaming from almost every headline in their news digest under the section titled, "Not Handing Over the Torch Yet."

Earlybird summarizes the major stories (paraphrased): Washington Post -- Clinton to speak tonight and lavish praise on Gore; Los Angeles Times -- In an interview Clinton dismissed as absurd Bush's charge that he deserves little credit for the economy; Chicago Sun-Times -- While Clinton busy fundraising in Los Angeles, Democrats fretting over task of shifting public's attention from Clinton's scandals to Gore's virtues; Associated Press -- Gore said he wouldn't hesitate to seek Clinton's counsel if he becomes president; New York Times -- Democrats to adopt platform that ties Gore to Clinton's legacy of centrist policies; Reuters -- Hillary under criticism for stealing Gore's thunder.

A CNN/USA/Gallup poll taken after Gore tried to offset his character deficit with the selection of Joe Lieberman reveals that he's not going to be able to borrow someone else's integrity for the election. In fact, it appears that Gore's Lieberman pick has backfired, causing people to focus more on his Clinton connection rather than less.

The poll shows that Gore hasn't gained on Bush, who still leads Gore by 16 points among likely voters, 55 percent to 39 percent in a four-way race. Nearly half of all likely voters say there is no chance whatsoever they would vote for Gore. Unfair, you say? Not really. Not when you understand that Gore didn't contract the Clinton virus vicariously, but by personally embracing his mentor's misdeeds -- and engaging in an abundance of his own. I'm not just referring to his complicity in the campaign finance scandals. National Journal's Carl Cannon tells us that Gore's greatest challenge concerning his convention speech is dispelling the "nagging suspicion" that "he's not always constrained by the facts."

Fittingly, we turn our attention back to Bill again. Analysts say that the suspense over his convention speech centers on how and whether he will extricate Gore from being blamed for his affair. I'm afraid this is one political magic trick our presidential wizard just may not be able to pull off.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?