by Hank Sims
There's a damning leader on Bill Clinton in this week's New Republic. (Subscription required, proles.) It's entitled "Reduced Bill":
The post-presidency is usually a good phase of a president's life. At their best, these retirees largely extricate themselves from factional politics and remake themselves as servants of the common good. That's basically what Clinton has done. True, he has made a fair amount of cash, speaking in Dubai and palling around with Ron Burkle. But he also claimed some important achievements through his foundation work. And, in the course of these good deeds, he rebuilt his reputation from his last ignominious years in office. He became a kind of Global President, or at least, the Crown Prince of Davos-land--a symbol of a prelapsarian era.
Even if Bill helps Hillary eke out a victory over Obama, he will have diminished these recent accomplishments. When you go to watch Clinton as he makes his case to small crowds in Podunk locations, you can't help but view him differently. He loses his post-presidential luster and dignity, turning himself back into just another pol. And not an especially classy one.
And "small crowds"? Whose fault is that?