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Washington Matters

Clinton Jab Misses Point

Come now, Mrs. Clinton. Do you really want to raise the issue of which Democratic presidential candidates had broader national appeal with voters? In trying to paint opponent Barack Obama as out of touch, you compared him to Al Gore and John Kerry and said the last two Democratic nominees lost because "they did not really understand or relate to or, frankly, respect" the way of life of many voters. But what, exactly, does that say about your husband, who is only the second person in U.S. history to be elected  president twice less than 50% of the popular vote, the first being Woodrow Wilson 80 years before?

In fact, Gore and Kerry both won a larger percentage of the popular vote than Bill Clinton did in either of his elections -- not to mention that Gore actually won more of the popular vote than President Bush did in 2000. So if Gore  was out of touch when he won 48.4% of the vote, just how in tune was a nominee who made it to the White House the first time with just 43%, as your husband did? Or, for that matter, just how in touch with voters is a Democratic candidate who tries to win a nomination by deriding earlier nominees elected with huge majorities in the primaries but is arguing now that she would make a stronger candidate despite the fact she trails Obama in the popular vote in the primaries and has little hope of catching up.