Jewish World Review June 17, 2004 / 28 Sivan, 5764

Joe Scarborough

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Consumer Reports

Clinton P.R. machine is revving up — expect Kerry to be the one who is run over | Let's get a few things straight right up front. As you probably guessed, I never cared for Bill Clinton as president. In fact, I decided to run for Congress when I was a 29-year-old unknown lawyer for one reason and one reason alone. I wanted to stop Bill Clinton's policies dead in their tracks. And, tonight, I could sit here the next three hours and detail for you all of the 42nd president's personal and political failures.

But you know what? I am not going to do that. That's because, when America went to war in Iraq and when political opportunists of all stripes used their position to undermine America's wars overseas, Bill Clinton went out of his way to support U.S. foreign policy and his White House successor.

In fact, the former Democratic president actually traveled to the Middle East to support America's current president by delivering a remarkable foreign policy address last winter in front of Arab leaders.

Now, in doing so, Bill Clinton stopped simply being a former Democratic president, like, say, Jimmy Carter, and instead took on the role of an American elder statesman. Americans like seeing scenes of their presidents together, as they were at Ronald Reagan's funeral last week, or as they were yesterday, when George Bush help unveil Bill Clinton's portrait in the White House.

Let's face it. Jimmy Carter's efforts to undermine U.S. policy has damaged his reputation at home and has undermined American interests sometimes abroad. As long as Bill Clinton measures his words about our commander in chief's foreign policy goals, his critics should measure their words about Bill Clinton.

Now, chances are good that John Kerry is not feeling as charitable towards Bill Clinton as I am right now. That's because the candidate described as dour and glum by his own supporters is going to fare very badly in the head-to-head comparison with Bill Clinton this summer, just as George Bush would fare badly standing next to Ronald Reagan.

Yes, Bill Clinton is back. And that's great news for his publisher.

That's great news for his wife, and that's great news for his bank account. But it's not such good news for the Massachusetts senator who hopes to follow in Mr. Clinton's footsteps.

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