Michael Reagan: Don’t play the Clinton game
Is Bill Clinton still president?
I must be in the 1990s again.
Why else would I have seen Kathleen Willey on TV talking about Bill Clinton repeatedly getting away with sexual harassment because Hillary ran smear campaigns aimed at discrediting his victims like her?
Why else would a Republican senator be making news by attacking Bill Clinton for being a “sexual predator”?
Excuse my confusion.
I realize I’m not the one who’s been time traveling.
It’s Rand Paul and the conservative media who are reliving the lowlights of the Clinton years and replaying the “Slick Willie” sex card.In a futile effort to pre-taint Hillary Clinton’s expected presidential run, Sen. Paul introduced the Bill Clinton sex angle into the 2016 campaign earlier this month.Reminding everyone Clinton was a professional sex hound, Sen. Paul said he didn’t think it’d be a good idea to elect Hillary president because her unseemly hubby would have the run of the Oval Office again.What was Sen. Paul thinking — or not thinking?He’s supposed to be a serious conservative/libertarian Republican with an eye on the White House. He attracts media attention every time he opens his mouth.He should be talking about high unemployment, tax cuts, the folly of the $10.10 minimum wage —anything. Instead he’s telling us the news that Bill Clinton was a serial sexual predator and pickup artist.Really? Who knew?Sen. Paul, it’s not 1998 anymore. “The Sexcapades of Bill Clinton” is an old, old, old story.It belongs on Turner Classic Movies, not Fox News. And Republicans know how the Clinton movie ends — we lose.It’s 2014. A disaster named Barrack Obama is president. A crucial midterm election is bearing down on Republicans.Why are you worrying about 2016? Did we already take the Senate?You really can’t blame Fox News for exploiting the Clinton sex angle. It has to get ratings and make money.Dusting off Willey and bringing her on “The Kelly File” to accuse Hillary herself of waging a war on women — women like Willey who were hit on by Bill — made sense for Fox.But Republicans need to stop worrying about the Clintons’ dirty old laundry.People aren’t hurting in the United State today because of Hillary and Bill. They’re hurting because of the current president.Trying to pin Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs on Hillary will be a lost cause. They weren’t Hillary’s fault — they were her problem.Anyway, Bill Clinton’s personal failings didn’t seem to hurt his job performance.He worked with Newt Gingrich and Congress to balance the budget four times, give us welfare reform and give us tax reductions.The 1990s were a heck of lot better than today, which is proof that the president’s personal life has nothing to do with his public life.My father knew that.I remember in 1960 sitting with him, my mother and my sister talking about the photos the Republican National Committee had of John Kennedy walking into and out of hotels with women who were not his wife.When I asked my father if Richard Nixon was going to use those photos against JFK in the election, he said, “No. He’s not running for husband of the year. He’s running for president. His personal life should not be part of the campaign.”And it wasn’t.President Obama was elected in large part because he offered hope and change. His ideas and policies were awful, but he didn’t practice the politics of personal destruction and voters noticed.Republicans like Rand Paul need to come up with a plan people can get hold of — a plan that moves forward.And if he wants to bash Hillary, he should do it on her public life, not on her private life.Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Email comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.