Clintons Out of the Game

game-change-clintonsA curious piece by Politico’s Ben Smith, “Game over: The Clintons stand alone,” begins:

A new book is out with a highly critical but unsourced portrait of Hillary Clinton. This familiar occurrence — it’s happened too many times to count over the years — has usually been greeted with an equally familiar response: A fast and furious counterattack from the Clinton inner circle.

What’s notable about the highly publicized release of “Game Change,” however, is the virtual silence from the Clinton camp. The lack of public outrage seems to mark the sputtering end of what was once known as the Clinton political machine and underlines a fact that onetime Clinton loyalists acknowledge: The book’s primary sources about the former candidate and current secretary of state are her own former staffers and intimates.

As a result, there is no campaign of veteran Clintonites spinning the press corps and trying to pre-emptively discredit the book’s scathing depiction of Hillary Clinton as a rudderless candidate and a cheerleader for vicious tactics against eventual winner Barack Obama. There is no team of Clinton proxies going on cable television to denounce authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann as scurrilous and unworthy of belief.

This time, Bill and Hillary Clinton are virtually alone.

The less dramatic but more accurate assessment is that the Clintons don’t have a team because they’re no longer in the game.

Come next Wednesday at noon, Bill Clinton will have been out of office nine years.  He’s off playing elder statesman and philanthropist.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, lost her best chance at getting elected president in her own right and will almost certainly not make another bid.  Sure, she’s only 62.  But her next shot would come in 2016, at which point she’ll be 69.   It’s been done — successfully by Ronald Reagan and unsuccessfully by Bob Dole and John McCain — by men that old.  Can a woman do it?  Using Secretary of State as her platform? Probably not.

Beyond the political and cultural obstacles, one imagines the Clintons would like to cash in on the lecture circuit again.  And, frankly, enjoy their golden years doing something less stressful.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. JVB says:

    The arrogance that creates these kind of mega-politicians also prevents them from giving a good crap about what people say once they’ve gotten what they want from politics. Kennedy and Obama, are in the same group…arrogance off the chart and enough blind or self-serving support around them to carry them into the archives of greatness even with the awful truth being told day and night. Once records are ALLOWED to be viewed and all the truth becomes available to view by all, with out threat of retaliation or legal choke holds, they don’t care and it’s too late for any of the fall out to land on them and do harm. How many know, even today, all the Kennedy kids were raised by a dad who was candidly sympathetic with Hitler’s philosophy and stated the USA was doomed if it clung to democracy? Yeah…these good hearted Kennedy boys…all of them wanted nothing more than to make Daddy proud. It’s truth that comes too late unless people learn to dig for themselves…and even then you have the ignorant who refuse to listen. The Clintons claimed ‘right wing attack’ and it worked as long as they needed it to work. Bill swore…”I did NOT..” knowing he was telling a lie to every American….didn’t matter. Got him want he wanted right then…and consequences were just something else ‘to get around’. I can’t wait to learn the truth about Obama…some day.

  2. An Interested Party says:

    The arrogance that creates these kind of mega-politicians also prevents them from giving a good crap about what people say once they’ve gotten what they want from politics. Kennedy and Obama, are in the same group…arrogance off the chart and enough blind or self-serving support around them to carry them into the archives of greatness even with the awful truth being told day and night.

    But of course this isn’t just a Democratic problem, as Bush and Cheney are also a part of that same group…

    I can’t wait to learn the truth about Obama…some day.

    Like what…that he really was born in Kenya? Or that Bill Ayers really was his ghostwriter?

  3. Drew says:

    Your light dismissal makes you look clownish, Interested Party.

    Obama is a Chicago/IL machine pol through and through, despite the media whitewash. His self professed “political godfather” (his words, not mine), Emil Jones, was a political thug of the first order here in IL. A cretin. The notion that Bill Ayers “was just a neighborhood aquaintance” only works for fools and the dishonest partisans. And Wright…..well.

    Obama is who he is, and its only now coming out. The whitewash can onlt work for so long.

  4. sam says:

    Obama is a Chicago/IL machine pol through and through, despite the media whitewash. His self professed “political godfather” (his words, not mine), Emil Jones, was a political thug of the first order here in IL.

    Well, OK, but do recall that it was Boss Pendergast in Kansas City who propelled Harry Truman into the Senate. If I’m not mistaken, Truman has been drafted into the Republican Pantheon.

  5. Drew says:

    Slammin’ Sammy –

    “Well, OK, but do recall that it was Boss Pendergast in Kansas City who propelled Harry Truman into the Senate. If I’m not mistaken, Truman has been drafted into the Republican Pantheon.”

    Uh, I don’t know Boss Kingmaker Pendergast, nor do I care. And Republican Pantheon?

    Anyway, nice diversionary tactic, but the subject is Obama. And Emil Jones is a crook. Do some investigation. Rod Blago is a crook, and Obama was a supporter. Do some investigation. And Roland Burris is a crook…..and after an “exhaustive” 3 day investigation Obama told us Rahmbo had nothing to do with it……as ol’ Rahm was on vacation in Africa.

    Super. And the media slurped on the Pres-elects unit. And I haven’t even mentioned Tony Rezko or Mayor Daley. Gawd.

    Obama is a crass, morally suspect garden variety IL machine pol with decidedly leftist tendencies. Period. Full stop. That’s all.

    You, Sam, ought to just come to grips with whether you are OK with that or not, and stop the tortured logic to defend. Its not very complicated. BTW – Hanks been dead for awhile.

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Trotting out the tiresome right-wing cliche of the media supposedly being in the tank for the president as well as your various guilt by association insinuations make you look like a desperate partisan, Drew…but far be it from me to stop you from clutching at whatever straws you can…by the way, I wonder what kind of ominous “truth” JVB will eventually learn…

  7. Herb says:

    If it’s true that the Clinton’s are “out of the game,” then we all have something to celebrate.

    Now I don’t think Obama is the messiah or the One or any of that. But I do think he deserves a round of thanks for for effectively ending the Clinton dynasty.