The real story of the Clinton legacy

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 26, 2005

No matter how hard the media try to rehabilitate Bill Clinton – the man who brought shame and dishonor to the presidency – he seems unable to shed the chronic misbehavior that marked his White House years, sullied his image, got him impeached and destroyed forever his hopes for any kind of legacy worth remembering.

What he did this past weekend, during seemingly endless TV appearances where he attacked President Bush, showed once again why he deserves to be held in contempt instead of being fawned over by a subservient media and the Democrat party, both ever anxious to pay homage to him no matter how low he sinks.

The media’s slavishly obsequious behavior during his widely-publicized “save the world conference” in New York last week was typified by a female Italian reporter who was overheard saying that Monica Lewinski- whose groveling was of a different, more basic form – was “lucky,” a remark on par with a similar gushing by one of her American sisters who once expressed the same sentiment in earthier terms, saying she would have been more than happy to perform the same lurid services for Bill Clinton that Miss Lewinski provided.

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Some of the more honest journalists did admit that Clinton’s attacks on President Bush were off-limits, pointing out the fact that former presidents simply do not criticize their successors. It’s just not done. Unfortunately, they failed to add that Clinton’s criticism was also completely off base, like much of what he says.

The whole incident reminded me of one of my father’s finest moments when on the day of his inauguration in 1983, just minutes after learning that the American hostages in Iran had been freed, he sent former President Carter to greet the hostages and even gave him the use of Air Force One for his mission.

Dad had no reason beyond his great compassion and decency to treat the man he had defeated after a bruising campaign – where his opponent had viciously attacked him – with such a great and generous gesture. And from that moment on he never once spoke ill of Jimmy Carter nor did Jimmy Carter speak ill of him during his eight years in the White House.

Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter may have been worlds apart in their politics, but they shared one similarity – they were both gentlemen. It’s something that could never be said about Bill Clinton, now appropriately memorialized by the Chinese by having a line of condoms named after him. Our media and his fellow Democrats may not have his number, but the rest of the world does. Clinton’s condoms – what a legacy!

Clinton’s activities last weekend showed once again, that like his Democrat colleagues, he cannot stop wanting to run this country and run the world while he’s at it. The man’s overwhelming hunger for the spotlight marks everything he says and does.

He cannot bring himself to leave center stage and slip into the background. Nor can his fellow Democrat Chuck Schumer; when he sees a microphone the area between him and the mike becomes a hazardous place to be. Get near either of them and you could be trampled to death as they race to get in front of the TV camera.

Clinton’s ingratitude to the president who honored him once again by pairing him with his father to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina simply boggles the mind. At the very first opportunity he turned on the man who went out of his way to twice honor him with a prestigious assignment.

Chanting the Democrat party’s favorite mantra about the need to raise taxes so they can spend more of the people’s money on their pet spending schemes, Bill Clinton proved oblivious to the simple fact that the president’s tax-cutting policies have given the United States the fastest growing economy in the world. His obsession with tax increases would plunge the U.S. into the recession that he left behind when he and his wife slipped away from the White House with a few national treasures in their trunks. We hoped then that he was gone. He wasn’t.

Will he never go away?

Mike Reagan, the eldest son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network. Look for Mike’s new book “Twice Adopted”. Order autographed books at Email Comments to .