Monday, October 29, 2007

Clinton-Bashing Below the Belt

Should there be an expiration date on White House gossip? The question is raised by "revelations" this weekend by the New York Daily News and Tim Russert on Meet the Press.

"Ford saw Clinton as a sex 'addict'" was the News headline yesterday based on a new book by one of its own, Washington Bureau Chief Thomas M. DeFrank, author of "Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford" and Russert had him on MTP to discuss it.

The timing of Ford's posthumous distaste for Bill Clinton's "skirt-chasing" and Hillary Clinton's "iron will" may seem a tad suspicious and, to eliminate any doubt, the News follows it with Mr. DeFrank's "Giuliani is GOP's best shot against Hillary, said Ford."

Just before he died, DeFrank reveals, the former President described America's mayor as the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton in "08. "He's really good," Mr. Ford is quoted as saying, "he's articulate--he's just a leader." Nothing about Giuliani's "skirt-chasing."

Aside from dragging a 93-year-old man who died soon afterward into today's electoral mudslinging, there is a sad irony in bringing Gerald Ford forward as a character witness about the Clintons' dysfunctional marriage.

By Betty Ford's own testimony, her husband's being away from home politicking most nights of the year before and after their White House years brought on her addiction to alcohol and pain killers.

With Mrs. Ford in ill health in her ninetieth year, DeFrank might have well waited until she too was "gone" before involving the Fords in a public dissection of the shortcomings in the Clintons' marriage.

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