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Clinton vs. Wallace
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In case you missed the Sunday morning Chris Wallace interview of Bill Clinton, here it is. Basically Clinton wigs out when Wallace asks him a question about why he wasn't more aggressive in getting Bin Laden.

Slate's John Dickerson says this:

Bill Clinton has provided us with this week's partisan sorting mechanism. If you are a right-winger, you see his outburst over charges that he didn't do enough to kill Osama Bin Laden as an overheated act of public ass-covering.


For the left-wingers, the video showed Chris Wallace to be a partisan Fox News hack who wanted to sandbag Clinton.

Hmm...I dunno. Personally I wanted to know if any of the shit he said was actually true.

It's clear that the charge of a double-standard was crap. Here are questions asked of Donald Rumsfeld by Wallace in 2004:

I understand this is 20/20 hindsight, it’s more than an individual manhunt. I mean — what you ended up doing in the end was going after al Qaeda where it lived. . . . pre-9/11 should you have been thinking more about that?


What do you make of his [Richard Clarke’s] basic charge that pre-9/11 that this government, the Bush administration largely ignored the threat from al Qaeda?


Mr. Secretary, it sure sounds like fighting terrorism was not a top priority.

Chris Wallace, you partisan hack!

This makes me doubt everything else that Clinton says (and of course his track record on honesty), but that in and of itself isn't enough to make me dismiss what he says out of hand.

But here's where I think Dickerson kind of has it right. How people perceive the interview is something of a filter. So far this article and nearly every liberal response to the interview has been to focus on the strategy of his response, the tone, the well-scripted reaction. Does it matter whether anything he actually said was true? Nah, who gives a shit, right?

It's style over substance all the way. The Republicans have plenty of problems too, but if this is the shape of things to come in the 2008 campaign, I'm already getting queasy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...oh how I wish there were a viable third party.

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