Wed May 7, 7:59 PM ET
Well, it looks like it's the end of the road for Hillary. Time for her to pack up her pantsuits and go back to ... wherever it is she's pretending to be living these days. Now we just have to get rid of the other two. Perhaps if I endorse Obama ...
This week, Bill Clinton lost his second presidential election for a protege.
Ronald Reagan was so popular, he not only won a 49-state landslide re-election for himself, but he also won a symbolic third term for his boob of a vice president, George Herbert Walker Bush (who immediately blew it by breaking his own "no new taxes" pledge).
By contrast, in addition to not being able to get half the country to vote for him in two tries, Clinton's connection to any other presidential candidate spells utter doom. Both his vice president and his wife have been defeated in elections they should have won, but lost because of their unfortunate association with him. The country has spoken. It wants to be rid of the Clintons.
The reason two elections in recent history -- the 2000 presidential election and the 2008 Democratic primary -- were razor-close is that in both cases there was some strange, foreboding, otherworldly force dragging down the presumptive winner.
Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, lost an election that should have been his in a walk. In fact, he was the first incumbent president or vice president in 100 years to lose an election in peacetime with a good economy. Mind you, that was before we even knew that Gore was a deranged conspiracy theorist who believes the Earth is in serious peril from cow flatulence.
What was the mystery factor to explain such a historic loss?
The media's pollsters may have lied to the public about Clinton's vaunted popularity, but Gore's pollsters got paid not to lie to him. And they told Gore the truth: Clinton was killing him.
After the election, Gore pollster -- and erstwhile Clinton pollster -- Stanley Greenberg told Vanity Fair magazine that if Clinton had helped, he said he would have "had Bill Clinton carry Al Gore around on his back." (This was when one man could still actually carry Al Gore on his back.) But research showed that whenever Clinton was mentioned, Gore's numbers went down faster than -- oh, never mind.
Steve Rosenthal, political director of the AFL-CIO, also blamed Clinton for Gore's loss, saying polls showed that voters who cared about character voted for Bush. (I know, I know. Are there actually people who care about character and vote Democrat? Yes, apparently they exist.)
Poor Gore did everything he could to distance himself from Clinton, publicly criticizing Clinton's sexual exploits with an intern, refusing to allow Clinton to campaign with him and taking as his vice president Joe Lieberman -- the first Democratic senator to scathingly denounce Clinton's antics with Lewinsky from the Senate floor.
But voters couldn't forget Gore's boss, the purple-faced lecher.
As election predictors go, the Dow Jones has been remarkably accurate. If the Dow goes up from the end of July to the end of October, the incumbent president or vice president wins; if it goes down, the incumbent loses. It has been wrong only four times since the Dow was created in 1896.
Thus, on Nov. 1, 2000, an article in The New York Times began: "The verdict of the Dow Jones industrial average is in, and it says Al Gore is headed for the White House."
And yet Gore lost. It was only the third time in more than a century that the Dow went up in the three months before the election and the incumbent lost. The two other times were: (1) Herbert Hoover in the middle of the Great Depression, and (2) Hubert Humphrey in the middle of the Vietnam War. (The only time the Dow went down and the incumbent won anyway was for popular Dwight Eisenhower.)
So we have documented proof: Americans rank Bill Clinton with national misfortunes on the order of the Great Depression and the Vietnam War. (This, of course, is an overreaction: The Great Depression wasn't that bad.)
And now Bill Clinton has wrecked Hillary's campaign, too. He's like the creepy guy who graduated last year but still hangs around the high school cafeteria chatting up sophomores.
In a Time magazine poll taken earlier this year, more than twice as many voters said Bill Clinton's involvement in Hillary's campaign made them less likely to vote for her as said they were more likely to vote for her. (Some even said that "having Bill Clinton around makes me less likely to vote for What's-Her-Name." One-third of the respondents were upset Bill didn't call the next day, like he promised.)
So before remembering that we are now left with two dangerous choices for president -- a young liberal who is friendly with terrorists or an old liberal who is friendly with Teddy Kennedy -- take a moment to revel in the fact that our long national nightmare is over. It turns out getting rid of the Clintons was the change we've been waiting for.