And as Barack Obama should have learned during the debateâs first 45 minutes, if not before, the same fuzzy but obsessive focus on “character” that plagues Bill and Hillary Clinton will be turned on him with equal or greater ferocity by those who once claimed to admire him. He is now subject to the “Clinton rules,” which have long permitted pundits, editorialists and reporters to indict the former president and first lady for sins that other politicians, mostly Republican, may commit with impunity (see Gingrich, Newt, first, second and especially third marriage).
Those slanted rules have guided coverage of Sen. Clinton during the past several weeks, notably in the controversy over her inaccurate version of her arrival in Bosnia a decade ago. How the game works can best be understood by comparing the firestorm over her remarks with the placid acceptance of blatantly self-aggrandizing falsehoods by certain venerated politicians of the other party.
Conason hits the nail on the head with this one. The focus on trivial nonsense in the Democratic debates and the press giving McCain a free ride on lack of support for a Modern GI Bill. Or on his multitude of flip-flops.