Obama and the Big Dog (Not Bo)

From “The Comeback Vegan,” Maureen Dowd, NYT:

“The two tall, left-handed, silver-tongued baby boomers both grew up not knowing their fathers. But while the disciplined Barry became self-reliant, with little patience for neediness or insincerity, the undisciplined Bill became self-indulgent, a maw of need and maestro of faux sincerity.

“Obama doesn’t like to share the stage with other politicians or even campaign for House Democrats. He thinks of himself as a singular force, a unique brand, and his narrative has always begun and ended with him. He thinks he did build it himself. But now — because of his own naivete, insularity and arrogance — he needs Clinton to rev up the disillusioned faithful and donors and lure independents and white working-class men.

“Bill, hailed by some as the first black president, must expand Barry’s narrative to reach back and link Obama’s roiling tenure of wars, debt and partisan-fencing to Clinton’s restful stretch of prosperity. You know you’re in trouble when you’re seen as less capable of taming the House Republicans than an ex-president who was impeached by the House Republicans.

“And what does the Big Dog get? Resurrection, redemption, relevance, a reflected patina of Obama integrity and fidelity; the chance to outshine the upstart who outmaneuvered his wife and, by extension, him in 2008. And a possible ticket back to the Oval, this time as the first First Man, a vegan gnawing on Michelle’s vegetable garden.

“It’s not a bromance, like Romney and Paul Ryan. It’s a transaction. Obama needs his Democratic predecessor to reassure jittery voters that the future can look like the past, with a lower deficit, plenty of jobs and the two parties actually talking. In return, Bill will have the capital to try to ensure that the past can look like the future, with Hillary as Obama’s successor.

“What a wild twist. Instead of ushering in the post-Clinton era, as intended, Obama has ushered in the pre-Clinton era.”  Emphasis added.

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