So, attacks on Obama by Bubba mean the former prez is no longer a statesman?

Last Wednesday I blogged about Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s criticism of Bill Clinton’s behavior on the campaign trail, where Robinson suggested that the former prez was no longer acting like a statesman. It’s a suggestion that is also being made by Reuters and Newsweek, among other news outlets, in response to Bill Clinton’s taking an active role in his wife’s campaign to discredit Barack Obama, sometimes at the point of turning red-faced in anger in front of the camera.

Here was the Reuters report:

SPARTANBURG, South Carolina (Reuters) – The resurgence of the old Bill Clinton, flushing with anger and wagging his finger as he fights for his wife’s presidential bid, has cast a shadow over her campaign and could mar his new image as a global statesman.

On Friday, Hillary Clinton herself said her husband had told her he may have gone too far. “He said several times yesterday that maybe he got a little bit carried away,” she told CBS’s “Early Show.”

She was speaking one day before South Carolina votes to select a party candidate for the November election, having seen her early hopes for an easy win in the state-by-state process dashed by mixed results in early state contests.

The former president, who has built on his reputation as a world figure through international charity work since leaving office seven years ago, has done what he said he would not do again — get back down and dirty on a campaign trail.

This time, of course, he is acting on behalf of Hillary, not himself, but senior Democrats worry that the party itself could be damaged as well as Hillary’s struggle.

While I can certainly agree that Bubba is acting like a jerk on the campaign trail (even though there have been things he’s asserted about Barack Obama that are true), I’d like to know where the media was when former prez. Jimmy Carter was repeatedly attacking President Bush’s policies regarding the Middle East, including the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, the war in Iraq, as well as his attacks on the US’ policy towards North Korea? In every attack, former President Carter – widely regarded as a “statesman” by many for his humanitarian work, including his Habitat for Humanity foundation – has asserted things that are at best misleading, and in some instances, are blatantly false. In some cases, he has outright worked against current US policy via the UN. Yet you didn’t see this saturation of news articles and opinion pieces and talking head show discussions about how Jimmy Carter’s status as a statesman was at stake for launching misleading and sometimes outright bogus attacks on the President.

Apparently the only time there is a question of a statesman possibly losing his status is when he starts aggressively attacking someone the mediots are fond of – like Barack Obama.

In related news, the NYT reports today that the Clinton campaign is “seeking a gentler role” for Bill Clinton. Should be interesting, considering the news that – as I noted yesterday – Ted Kennedy is set today to endorse the O-man, which comes on the heels of JFK’s daughter Caroline endorsing Obama yesterday.

Memeorandum has much more on the pundits’ delivering their .02 re: the Bubbinski and the role he’s been playing in Hillary’s campaign versus the role they think he should be playing.

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