The feud between the Clintons and the Obamas

Ever since the bruising 2008 campaign for the Democratic nomination, it has been obvious that there was bad blood between the Clintons and the Obamas.  Hillary Clinton regarded herself as the rightful heir to the presidency, and the intimations by the Obama campaign that the Clintons were racists amounted to a blood libel in their eyes.

But with two power couples so expert at phoniness, a mutually advantageous rapprochement, in the form of Hillary Clinton taking the foreign affairs portfolio as secretary of state, was to expected, along with public expressions of mutual amity and admiration between the to warring camps. Only fools and liberals were taken in by the charade, but that is a substantial majority of the mainstream media, so the masquerade was fairly effective, at least in the public sphere.

But political dynasties and wannabe dynasties, like great nations, have no permanent friends – they only have permanent interests. And now Ed Klein, a journalist with many confidential sources and a pretty good track record of getting inside the Clinton/Obama rivalry with his previous book, The Amateur, has a new book coming out, entitled Blood Feud, The Clintons Vs. The Obamas, that is like catnip for me and many AT readers, I would venture to guess. Excerpts appear in today’s New York Post that are tantalizing indeed.

The intensity factor is considerable.

 “I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Bill Clinton said to friends on one occasion, adding he would never forgive Obama for suggesting he was a racist during the 2008 campaign.

The feeling is mutual. Obama made ­excuses not to talk to Bill, while the first lady privately sniped about Hillary.

On most evenings, Michelle Obama and her trusted adviser, Valerie Jarrett, met in a quiet corner of the White House residence. They’d usually open a bottle of Chardonnay, catch up on news about Sasha and Malia, and gossip about people who gave them heartburn.

Their favorite bête noire was Hillary Clinton, whom they nicknamed “Hildebeest,” after the menacing and shaggy-maned gnu that roams the Serengeti.

In my observation, the most bitter feuds are between people who are quite similar and ought to be aligned: Irish Catholics versus Protestants; Shitte Muslims versus Sunnis; Hatfields versus McCoys; or pick any family feud.

Thus, the Clinton/Obama feud offers many opportunities for exploitation by our side.  We just have to play our cards intelligently, waiting for the right time.

The most horrifying, and yet predictable, factoid coming out of the book is that Barack Obama considers Michelle presidential material.

The animosity came to a head in the run-up to the 2012 election, when Obama’s inner circle insisted he needed the former president’s support to win. Obama finally telephoned Bill Clinton in September 2011 and invited him out for a round of golf.

“I’m not going to enjoy this,” Bill told Hillary when they gathered with a group of friends and political associates at Whitehaven, their neo-Georgian home on Embassy Row in Washington, DC.

 “I’ve had two successors since I left the White House — Bush and Obama — and I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever,” Clinton said.

“I really can’t stand the way Obama ­always seems to be hectoring when he talks to me,” Clinton added, according to someone who was present at the gathering and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Sometimes we just stare at each other. It’s pretty damn awkward. Now we both have favors to ask each other, and it’s going to be very unpleasant. But I’ve got to get this guy to owe me and to be on our side.”

During the golf game, Clinton didn’t waste any time reminding Obama that as president he had presided over eight years of prosperity, while Obama had been unable to dig the country out of the longest financial ­doldrums since the Great Depression.

“Bill got into it right away,” said a Clinton family friend. “He told Obama, ‘Hillary and I are gearing up for a run in 2016.’ He said Hillary would be ‘the most qualified, most experienced candidate, perhaps in history.’ His reference to Hillary’s experience made Obama wince, since it was clearly a shot at his lack of experience when he ran for president.

“And so Bill continued to talk about Hillary’s qualifications . . . and the coming campaign in 2016. But Barack didn’t bite. He changed the subject several times. Then suddenly, Barack said something that took Bill by complete surprise. He said, ‘You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.’

“Bill was speechless. Was Barack comparing Michelle’s qualifications to Hillary’s? Bill said that if he hadn’t been on a mission to strike a deal with Barack, he might have stormed off the golf course then and there.”

This is both delusional on both sides and unsurprising. After all, Hillary blazed a path exactly like this, and her accomplishments up through Bill’s second term were as trivial as Michelle’s today. Her Senate seat and Secretary of State term added nothing but titles to her resume. She has zero achievements in either post to point to.

So why is it any more ridiculous for Michelle Obama to contemplate a presidential run than for Hillary to do so? In a sane world, neither woman is qualified, but in Demcoratic circles, riding your husband's cottails qualifies as feminist victory and a major achievement. At least for liberal women.

Lurking in the background, of course, are Chelsea Clinton and Malia and Sasha Obama. Ever since the Kennedys (in the modern era - The Adams and Roosevelt families are precursors), we are cursed with the notion of generational entitlement to political power.  It is abhorrent to a genuine constitutional republic. 

I plan on devouring Klein's book.

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