The rumor mill, or, Jasper engages in sheer speculation
By now you’ve no doubt heard about Robert Novak’s story regarding the Clinton/Obama rumor keffufle. Allegedly, Hillary’s campaign is threatening to spill the beans on dirt they possess on Barrack Obama, should the latter indulge in rumor mongering about the former president’s post-White House extramarital adventures. Yes, shockingly, there are rumors out there that the lusty lad hasn’t mended his ways.
Ross Douthat wants to know why, if the stories have any credibility, nobody has broken a story yet:
Is it credible that if there were sex scandals lurking out there, waiting to explode on the Clinton campaign, we wouldn’t know about them yet? I don’t care if Drudge is cozy with the Clintons now, or if Clinton-pal Ron Burkle gets control of every single supermarket tabloid in God’s creation – this is the age of TMZ and Gawker Stalker, and I find it hard to believe that someone like Clinton would be able to get away with his old tricks without some alternative, internet-age media outlet getting hold of the dirt. Mainstream outlets (like, say, the LA Times) might have qualms about running with a “Clinton commits adultery – again” story that doesn’t have a direct legal or political angle, but there are too many outlets devoted to full-time gossip now for journalistic high-mindedness to keep something like that out of the news. Aren’t there? Or am I being naive about the ability of someone as mobbed-up as Clinton to do what he pleases without it leaking online?
My guess: Bill has not been faithful to Hillary since leaving office, but his dalliances have been fairly discrete, quiet affairs — involving a woman (or women) who won’t talk. He’s probably gotten more careful. So there’s simply nothing but rumor and innuendo at this point — there’s no soiled dresses or photographs. He’s obviously not stupid enough to send his paramours emails, or be seen holding hands in a restaurant. And remember, he has Secret Service protection, and one happy side-benefit for him is it makes things more difficult for the papparazi. Anyway, this is my guess as to why no big story has yet broken. And yes, the Clintons are well-liked by a lot of media moguls, and have many friends in high places, so this doesn’t hurt, either.
I furthermore suspect the Clintons may very well have dirt on Obama. Why wouldn’t they? They’ve probably got dirt on Edwards, Richardson, Dodd, Biden, Giuliani, McCain, Huckabee, and Romney, too. Opposition research is pretty standards these days in American politics. Surely the Clintons possess expertise in this particular branch of the political black arts. So, yes, this, too, helps keep Bill’s skeletons in the closet, just as Novak reported. If such a strategy can buy the Clintons another twelve months, they’re home free. I don’t think anybody would be shocked if, not long after Hillary Clinton takes the oath of office, it is announced the president and first gentleman have agreed to “an amicable separation.”