Mother Jones has dispatched a reporter
to dig up every shred of untapped information about the Clinton family in preparation for Hillary Clinton's expected run for the presidency.
I told him a while back I couldn't rule out a discovery of new material in Arkansas on the Clintons, though I said it was hard to believe that Kenneth Starr,
with an unlimited budget, subpoena power, a Grand Jury and squads of FBI and IRS agents, had missed anything of damaging substance. And Starr came up dry, save for an Oval office happening far outside the realm of what he'd been sent to plumb. Furthermore, I said that, apart from occasional trips to Arkansas, the Clintons had had no ongoing business in the state, outside the presidential library, in 22 years.
So who knew? Right-wingers, he noted, had dug up some unflattering stuff in UA archives of private papers. Trivial, but it doesn't take much to gin up a few days of cable talk hysteria.
So today, as memorialized on the front page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, comes the first paydirt from Mother Jones.
Thirty-three years ago, in what appears to be comments transcribed by a secretary, then-Sen. Dale Bumpers said some unflattering things about the young Clintons, the young gubernatorial candidate then seen as a potential political rival. Ambitious, said the Bumpers document. Would say or do anything to get elected. Low character. Bumpers himself is in declining health, His son Brent told a Democrat-Gazette reporter he doubts the authenticity of the papers found in his father's papers.
I don't. But also, so what if it is authentic?
Only for the Clintons will the press turn a private 33-year-old remark juxtaposed against a public comment 17 years later, into a Page One revelation.
If this is the best they've got — that somebody observed 33 years ago that the Clintons had a manic obsession with getting ahead in politics — my response is: No kidding.
Understand this fits, however, in the National Bitch Hunt meme that Gene Lyons just wrote about so well.