Political Animal


August 28, 2012 4:27 PM Another Call For Clinton To Challenge the Lies

By Ed Kilgore

Andrew Sullivan appears to agree with my argument that there’s one American politician in an ideal position to put the lie to the Romney/Ryan welfare attack line, and the racial politics it reflects:

The simple assumption of racial politics as the driver of campaigns is what’s striking. Karl Rove became what he is - a persistent whitehead on the face of American politics - because he learned the art of race-baiting politics in the South. Romney - having given up on Latinos and blacks and gays - is now betting the bank on the white resentment that has been fast losing potency since the 1990s. Which is where Bill Clinton comes in. He is used in that ad. His speech at the DNC should take on this lie aggressively, call Romney personally on it, and demand that the lie end. No one has more cred on this than Clinton. He should punch hard.
In many ways, this is the biggest moment in Bill Clinton’s post-presidential life. Killing racial wedge politics would be a fitting finale to his life’s work on that subject.

Amen to that.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • bradgalt on August 28, 2012 4:44 PM:

    Next week in Charlotte, the Dems need to push back on the constant lies of Willard’s campaign when they have a big audience, especially for Clinton’s speech. If they don’t use the “L” word repeatedly about Willard and Ryan, then the Dems will end up as the feckless loyal opposition.

  • Joan Bowser on August 28, 2012 4:57 PM:

    I agree that Clinton must use his formidable clout to hi-light this lie and others. Money is important but message is more important.

  • ceenik on August 28, 2012 5:00 PM:

    "Killing racial wedge politics would be a fitting finale to his life’s work on that subject." Wow! Big job even for the Big Dog! How about, yank the rug out from under the current big lies? Racial wedge politics are not going to be killed that easily, if ever, and it's naive to think they can. Still, we gotta keep on . . .

  • g on August 28, 2012 5:24 PM:

    That to, but I would hope that someone would also touch on the issue of Romney's character. If he is lying to the American people in order to gain the office, what kind of character does he possess? And how can the American people trust him with the office if he's that dishonest?

  • annoyedymous on August 28, 2012 5:29 PM:

    Chris Matthews helped. It is really the talk of the town around here. Most of Romney's detractors are those who hear his many obvious lies---people resent that: It's like Romney thinks they're stupid with these ads and with what he spouts out on the campaign stump!
    And the money/taxes/tax havens/million dollar IRA feel super-deceitful, when people rarely even vacation.

    Many have close inter-racial friendships and find Romney's routines with race-baiting sickening. People could point to the worst racist remarks of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum with absolute disgust-and Romney clearly has embraced playing the race card to steal this election.

    P.S. How are we supposed to be able to type a word that's upside down or hidden above on the capcha!!!!!

  • Crissa on August 28, 2012 5:50 PM:

    Isn't this another call from a centrist for the president or some Democrat to do what they're already doing?

  • rk on August 28, 2012 5:51 PM:

    No one has less credibility suggesting what any Clinton should do than Andrew Sullivan. The man is deranged when it comes to the Big Dog or HRC. No matter what Clinton says, a speech alone is likely to have little effect. What would make a difference would be for the media to expose and discuss (at length) those lies and the lack of character that led the Romney camp to produce them. Sullivan should exert his clout with the villagers in that direction rather than calling on Clinton to save the day.

  • jjm on August 28, 2012 6:14 PM:

    to @g: "how can the American people trust him with the office if he's that dishonest?"

    How could the leader of ANY COUNTRY on the face of the earth trust this man??

    Imagine Romney negotiating a peace treaty or forming a coalition...impossible to imagine.

  • Kathryn on August 28, 2012 6:16 PM:

    How about Romney telling Chris Wallace that he didn't gain any tax breaks by putting his money in the Cayman Islands or Switzerland? He must think he can say anything and get away with it, No tax breaks in those tax havens for Mitt's many entities, sure Mitt. Here's a hint, the vast majority of Americans don't have their limited funds in entities and the average 6th grader would have ask the obvious question Wallace didn't ask why, did he bother to put his millions in these off shore account if their was no benefit.

  • Big River Bandido on August 28, 2012 6:46 PM:

    Killing racial wedge politics would be a fitting finale to his life's work on that subject.

    Oh yes. The president of the "Sistah Souljah moment" and "ending welfare as we know it"...now reinvented as the president who "killed racial wedge politics".

    What a crock.

  • John Dillinger on August 29, 2012 6:26 AM:

    I'd inject Romney's religion into it by citing the poor history Mormon's have with African Americans, and then suggest that maybe the elders of LDS should have a talk with him about toning it down.