As a Democrat and ardent supporter of Bill Clinton, I was disgusted by the Republican hatchet job (abetted by the Wall Street Journal and Jeff Gerth at the Times) to manufacture a scandal with Whitewater in the early days of the Clinton Administration.
It was an era long before blogs, by I personally expelled plenty of hot air defending him to friends and colleagues.
But while Whitewater was ultimately shown to be mostly political theater orchestrated by the Republicans with help from sloppy reporting (see Gene Lyon’s detailed deconstruction — favorable to the Clintons — here), those pushing the attacks and line of inquiry could claim there was a potential of real wrongdoing.
The Clintons’ Whitewater partner — Jim McDougal — owned a savings & loan in Arkansas that was regulated by Bill Clinton’s state government. McDougal raised money for then Governor Clinton — just before he got approval from a state regulator to raise money for his failing bank. His bank was represented by none other than Hillary Clinton before the state regulator.
It was possible McDougal could have gotten approval from the state regulator as some form of quid pro quo for raising money for Clinton. Nothing was proved of course, but it was theoretically possible.
In the Rezko case, something like this isn’t even theoretically possible. As a U.S. Senator, Obama wielded no regulatory power over anything involving Rezko or his business — and is not alleged or suggested by anyone. It’s pure political theater, done solely for the reason to make Senator Obama look dodgy, to put him on the defensive before tomorrow’s primary.
So of all the things done in this campaign to date, I find the Clinton campaign’s relentless pushing of the Rezko issue particularly disgusting. They, of all people, should know better. They were slimed by the Republican attack machine with Whitewater. So it’s pathetic and sad that she’s reprised the same techniques and applied them to a fellow Democrat, especially given where there isn’t the same potential for of wrongdoing as there was with Whitewater.
Last week Senator Clinton chided: "Shame on you Senator Obama." This definitively proves to me she has no shame, and she doesn’t deserve the vote of any self-respecting Democrat.