Dem Primaries: A Referendum on Clintonism

Bill's legacy, deeper than memory tells, will decide the nominee
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2007 7:29 AM CST
Clintons and Gores   (Archive Photos)
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(Newser) – The Democratic presidential primary contest will be “a judgment on the ‘90s,” writes the New York Times’ Matt Bai: The left is deeply conflicted about Bill Clinton and his "third way," and Hillary's “fortunes are bound up with his,” Bai says. "They might love Bill Clinton, but they loathe Clintonism"—even if they're divided on quite what that represents.

Bai also entertains accusations of triangulation, entertaining one centrist honcho’s pitch that “Clinton’s politics have basically become the DNA” of today's Democratic candidates. Indeed, Hillary’s rivals are no New Dealers, but rather frequent imitators of Bill’s “values” and "responsibilities" stances. Far from being a spineless hack, Clinton was an insurgent; by comparison, his First Lady is playing it safe.