February 2, 2008

Bill Clinton's Ego, redux

I think Leo Casey is wrong about the politics of Bill Clinton's slamming Ted Kennedy. Since I agree with Leo on a large swath of education policy, including the effects of NCLB, I should explain a bit. For the most part, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama share significant rhetoric on education and quite a bit of fuzziness on the details. They've both said NCLB has serious flaws, but it hasn't been a focus of their campaigns. That's not much of a surprise, because, despite the efforts of Ed in '08, education is not a huge issue in the campaign. (Bill Gates, get behind in line the folks who want a presidential debate around science.)

Over the past few weeks, both George Miller and Ted Kennedy have endorsed Obama. Has Obama said he agrees with Miller and Kennedy about NCLB? No, not to my knowledge. Maybe he did a backroom deal with both of them about reauthorization, but I've already explained why I think that's not the likely reason for both endorsements.

After being chastised for going after Obama directly and crudely in South Carolina, Bill Clinton did his best to undermine the endorsement of a liberal icon, by linking Kennedy to Bush:

No Child Left Behind was supported by George Bush and Senator Ted Kennedy and everybody in between.
Let me make this clear: I don't think Bill Clinton gives a hoot about NCLB right now, but if he can use it to smear Kennedy and undermine that endorsement, he will. To that end, I think Charles Barone's line-by-line response is tangential. The only phrase that Bill Clinton wanted to get out was "George Bush and Senator Ted Kennedy." Yeah, he can spin a policy tale out of that, but that's not the point.

I know that Hillary Clinton freely acknowledges that she cannot carry a tune in a bucket, but in this case, it's Bill Clinton who's tone-deaf.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on February 2, 2008 8:56 PM |