Bill Clinton’s name resurfaces as “caretaker” replacement for Hillary

posted at 11:00 am on January 2, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Could the Caroline Kennedy bubble and bust have really been all about Bill?  CBS reports that Bill Clinton’s name has come up again as a “caretaker” appointment to fill out the rest of Hillary Clinton’s term in the Senate, more than a month after the former President publicly declared himself disinterested in the job:

The former president is among several boldface names being touted as possible “caretakers” for New York’s Senate seat — people who would serve until the 2010 elections but wouldn’t be interested in running to keep the job.

As the process of picking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s replacement gets messier, the option may become increasingly attractive to Gov. David Paterson, who has sole authority to name a successor.

A big name like Bill Clinton or Democratic former Gov. Mario Cuomo could have an immediate impact for New York in the Senate while letting the large field of hopefuls duke it out in 2010, according to three Democratic Party advisers in New York and Washington who are close to the discussion with Paterson’s inner circle on this issue.

Two others in the party confirmed that Paterson is still considering the caretaker option. The advisers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment.

A month ago, this sounded ridiculous.  Now, after a couple of weeks of the Sweet Caroline Gushing Chorus and the inevitable embarrassment of Kennedy’s incompetent public campaign for the appointment, Bill looks like a much better option, at least by comparison.  Note too the change of strategy this speculation suggests.  Kennedy was pushed as a person who could win two back-to-back elections on the basis of her money and her name, and now Bill and other “caretaker” options are being floated for their supposed lack of desire to run for the seat outright.

Jazz Shaw, a New Yorker himself, isn’t buying it:

This choice, should it be made, would have to go down in history as one of the greatest examples of leaping out of the frying pan and into the fire. It’s difficult to even begin listing the reasons why this would be a terrible choice, even if President Clinton were interested in doing it. At the top of such a list would surely be the fact that New York, like the rest of the states, deserves two serious, dedicated Senators doing the state’s work in the upper chamber without derailing the entire process. Clinton would be an immediate distraction and sideshow, sucking all of the air out of the room and turning efforts at serious work into a media sideshow.

Also, one of the chief objections to Caroline Kennedy (among many) is that we really don’t need dynasties running our Federal government. Picking Clinton yet again for such an influential position would send exactly the wrong message. There is also a question of appearances of propriety. Do we really want someone in an influential Legislative position who is married to the Secretary of State? (A position which is a key role in the Executive Branch.) There are already questions swirling about Bill’s library contributions and other financial activity as they relate to Hillary’s assumed upcoming role in the State Department. Shall we compound those conflict-of-interest questions by putting her husband in the Senate?

I outlined specific objections to appointing Bill Clinton to the Senate in November, and those arguments remain just as valid:

How can any analysis of a plan to send Bill Clinton to Congress fail to mention his impeachment and trial in 1998?  Whether one believes the impeachment and trial to be appropriate — and the impeachment was an impressively bipartisan affair — the fact is that Congress heavily penalized this president for transgressions that cost him his bar membership.  Should Paterson overlook relatively clean alternatives to give an impeached former President a seat in that same body?  The deliberate oversight of this rather large defect renders this little more than mindless cheerleading for the Clinton brand.

Furthermore, do the Democrats have anyone worthwhile not named Clinton?  And do actual New Yorkers exist, or will the Empire State continue to import its Senators from Arkansas?

Beyond this, though, New Yorkers should object to the notion of a “caretaker” appointment.  Would it make sense for New Yorkers to send someone to Washington that will reject the entire idea of standing before the voters for judgment on his or her record?  That leaves two years without accountability for the appointee, which gives them free reign for all sorts of mischief. Paterson should not require a commitment from his appointee to run for the office on his/her own power in 2010 in the special election, but he shouldn’t select someone who categorically refuses to answer to New York constituents before getting the appointment, either.

New York has thousands of people with experience from which to choose for this appointment not named Kennedy, Clinton, or Cuomo, people who will see this as an opportunity to serve their state rather than their ego.  Paterson should find one of those candidates and leave the celebrities and caretakers alone.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

It is only because he wants to hire young, female, interns again for his staff.

DeweyWins on January 2, 2009 at 11:04 AM

well the primary requirement for a donk politico is to be able to say words so Beijing Bill has that over Sweet Caroline….

sven10077 on January 2, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Here’s a radical idea. How about an actual New Yorker instead of a transplant-for-the-purpose-of-legislating this time?

PJ Emeritus on January 2, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Who knows what Paterson’s got to be thinking right now?

He should appoint himself when the state Senate gets its act together, and become a good legislator instead of a crappy pandering governor.

As someone from Upstate NY, the best thing that can happen to us is to get that tax-and-spender on the bus to Washington pronto.

KingGold on January 2, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Oh now that’s silly PJ Emeritus.

Why would anyone from ANY state want to have to talk to a New Yorker, ever?

This ribbing brought to you from Massachusetts, naturally.

BKennedy on January 2, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Can a Senator be impeached? It would be awesome to be impeached twice for getting BJ’s by young interns! He would be seen as like an awesome stud by the MSM! Super Awesome!

sabbott on January 2, 2009 at 11:07 AM

The former president is among several boldface names being touted as possible “caretakers” for New York’s Senate seat

“boldface”…a curious choice of words. Or maybe not. Dr. Freud?

whitetop on January 2, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Paterson appears to be seeking a way out of a brewing party squabble, so put the seat up on e-bay!

Done That on January 2, 2009 at 11:10 AM

New York has thousands of people with experience from which to choose for this appointment not named Kennedy, Clinton, or Cuomo, people who will see this as an opportunity to serve their state rather than their ego

.

You are expecting New Yorkers to think clearly?

upinak on January 2, 2009 at 11:11 AM

If anything this sounds like Billy Jeff’s gift for daughter Chelsea. She’s 28 now and in two years will be 30. Plus she’s made enough money in the hedge fund industry and probably is burnt out of it after this year. So why not let daddy BJ hold the seat for you until 2010.

Man, I should be a CNN political analyst, this stuff is so complicated to figure out.

Lance Murdock on January 2, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Honestly, you don’t understand NY if you think choosing some Democratic or Hollywood celebrity for the Senate seat would somehow insult us. The only serious objections to a Kennedy or a Clinton or a Cuomo or another Clinton from getting the seat would be from someone inside that group. For the rest of the public here, it would be OK.

If you don’t understand that, then equate it with a population that would actively work to get an Al Franken into the Senate, or one that has political ethos like Chicago’s.

JiangxiDad on January 2, 2009 at 11:17 AM

If anything this sounds like Billy Jeff’s gift for daughter Chelsea. She’s 28 now and in two years will be 30. Plus she’s made enough money in the hedge fund industry and probably is burnt out of it after this year. So why not let daddy BJ hold the seat for you until 2010.

Man, I should be a CNN political analyst, this stuff is so complicated to figure out.

Lance Murdock on January 2, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Oh, Lance, that actually sounds logical. I thought the One was going to stop political legacies like this???

mjk on January 2, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Most Ethical Congress Evah! What’s one more Senator of questionable morals among Reid’s Reprobates and Pelosi’s Pirates? I agree. He’s going to hold the seat for his darlin’ daughter. I hope she can put two sentences together. You know?

kingsjester on January 2, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Why not Spitzer?

zmdavid on January 2, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Imagine Bush being appointed. We would never hear the end of the left saying ‘he is a fascist dictator and king’.

Again, New York doesn’t seem to really care who ‘represents’ them as long as it is someone who they can point to and say that they are ‘better than you’ without feeling like they are completely misguided. I’d bet half of New Yorkers think the Senate is in New York City anyway. . . so aren’t they all New Yorkers?

ThackerAgency on January 2, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Bill Clinton?! What could possibly go wrong with that pick?

Wyznowski on January 2, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Why not? That state is nothing but a big board game for crooked, perverted politicians and Bubba fits right in.

rplat on January 2, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Unfortunately there ARE thousands of qualified people for this position but they get pushed aside and outright ignored because they AREN’T party royalty such as Kennedy or Clinton. The democrats are stuck on gadabouts.

scalleywag on January 2, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Again, New York doesn’t seem to really care who ‘represents’ them as long as it is someone who they can point to and say that they are ‘better than you’ without feeling like they are completely misguided. I’d bet half of New Yorkers think the Senate is in New York City anyway. . . so aren’t they all New Yorkers?

ThackerAgency on January 2, 2009 at 11:23 AM

You’re using an old, outdated view of NY. People in NY are not from NY. They’re not even from the US! They wouldn’t know the difference between NY and Texas. They’re not NY-centric, or stubbornly proud of NY. They are, by and large, a wildly varied collection of minorities that vote Dem for the handouts, and because the Dems lie better to them. It really has nothing to do with hubris any longer. If Caroline K (who they don’t know) keeps the benefits flowing, she’s ok. Real NY’ers are mostly dead or gone.

JiangxiDad on January 2, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Bill has too much pride to be 1 of 100. He won’t do it.

t.ferg on January 2, 2009 at 11:31 AM

New York may have opened the door to the Snopes family.

whitetop on January 2, 2009 at 11:32 AM

rplat on January 2, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Just like Illinois!

scalleywag on January 2, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Why not “go for the gold” and APPOINT THE REVEREND AL SHARPTON to fill in Hillary’s seat? Why appoint the “first black president” (aka “B.J. Clinton”) when you can get the real McCoy?
***
The good reverend will bring real class and hilarity to the Senate. And he will fit right in with the rest of the Corruptocrats there. New York deserves the finest.
***
Hope and change you can believe in!
***
John Bibb

rocketman on January 2, 2009 at 11:33 AM

It’s like the blind leading the blind in NY

faraway on January 2, 2009 at 11:33 AM

interns again for his staff.

DeweyWins on January 2, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Zoinks!

thomasaur on January 2, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Bored aristocrat or insufferable gadabout, what a choice.

scalleywag on January 2, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Assume that the slick one accepted the Senate appointment. I can’t imagine that he (in his mind) would lower himself now to the expected duties required–notwithstanding having a large staff to “do” his dirty work for him–as he’s clearly above ONLY being a Senator today.

perroviejo on January 2, 2009 at 11:37 AM

If you haven’t already, go to Iowahawk’s site and check out the letter from one of CKSs maids, Rosa, as to why she is qualified for the job of senator from NY. You will laugh!

As for Billy Crinton in Hill’s vacant senate seat? Or Chels? AAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!

TeeDee on January 2, 2009 at 11:39 AM

You’re using an old, outdated view of NY. People in NY are not from NY. They’re not even from the US! They wouldn’t know the difference between NY and Texas. They’re not NY-centric, or stubbornly proud of NY. They are, by and large, a wildly varied collection of minorities that vote Dem for the handouts, and because the Dems lie better to them. It really has nothing to do with hubris any longer. If Caroline K (who they don’t know) keeps the benefits flowing, she’s ok. Real NY’ers are mostly dead or gone.

JiangxiDad on January 2, 2009 at 11:29 AM

The state isn’t that far gone, but only under the right circumstances.

N.Y. Democrats as of Jan. 20 are in the same position they were in January of 1993 — completely in control in the state and completely in control in Washington. That’s the only formula for Republicans winning in the state, because if everything is still fouled up, as it was during the NYC mayoral race in 1993 or the governor’s race in 1994, there’s no Republican on the horizon for them to blame.

The GOP still has to find candidates who have both a message and financial support — a Rudy run against Patterson in 2010 would go a long way there — but a lot of it depends on how Obama and Congress are doing in D.C. If it’s a clown show and the state economy is still in the tank 18 months from now, New York Democrats could pay a price with the governorship and both senate seats up for election. (on the other hand, if things are improving, N.Y. Dems could run Spitzer for the Senate seat and he’d win).

jon1979 on January 2, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Sending Slick to the senate may be a blessing in disguise. Where else could you put the man and keep him “on record” most of the time. Slick would demand/command a cushy chairman seat that would piss off other “Senior Senators” that were more deserving of the post. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would take on a whole new meaning.

Rovin on January 2, 2009 at 11:50 AM

There’s no way Bill accepts.
He is the Ambassador to the World, he gets to travel around the world, living like a rock star and no silly, Senate financial disclosure documents or having to spend all that much time in the same state(much less country) with his wife.

Nope, why would he want to be a Senator when he’s already the second biggest pop-star in the world (Right behind Barack Obama) and the media can ignore anything he does?

Veeshir on January 2, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Paterson appears to be seeking a way out of a brewing party squabble, so put the seat up on e-bay!

Done That on January 2, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Well he is blind so seeking takes a little longer for him than the rest of us!

Seriously, Bill Clinton wouldn’t be happy in the role he would have in the tradition-bound Senate.

highhopes on January 2, 2009 at 11:51 AM

jon1979 on January 2, 2009 at 11:47 AM

I agree with that. It’s how Reagan won. And it could happen again. But unless liberalism is totally discredited by ruin and chaos, it will only be a matter of time before NY’s and their socialist brothers elsewhere return to the party of handouts. Liberals cannot see the long-term consequences of liberalism (unless they’re those types who are only in it to re-arrange the have’s and the have-nots) so they will not be able to change unless they feel the negative consequences. So we face the need for chaos, or more of the same. Lousy choices.

JiangxiDad on January 2, 2009 at 11:57 AM

No, New York state has MILLIONS of people who could fill this post. In and of itself, a caretaker is not a bad idea, but there should not be such a public mention of it. It is amazing that the New York state Republican party seems to be in such disarry because they have a great chance, with the right conservative, to win to governor’s mansion AND the Clinton senate seat. Oh well. Hope and change, baby! Hope and change!

righty64 on January 2, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Now, after a couple of weeks of the Sweet Caroline Gushing Chorus and the inevitable embarrassment of Kennedy’s incompetent public campaign for the appointment, Bill looks like a much better option, at least by comparison.

Yup, Bill’s better than Caroline and being informed you have Parkinson’s is better than being diagnosed with brain cancer.

No real upside.

fogw on January 2, 2009 at 11:59 AM

How can any analysis of a plan to send Bill Clinton to Congress fail to mention his impeachment and trial in 1998? Whether one believes the impeachment and trial to be appropriate — and the impeachment was an impressively bipartisan affair — the fact is that Congress heavily penalized this president for transgressions that cost him his bar membership.

Ed, I simply don’t understand why you repeat the nonsense that the impeachment was bipartisan. Many people are old enough to remember the overwhelming sentiment of the Democrats that the impeachment was a partisan stunt. And two of the five Democrats that voted for the impeachment became Republicans. It’s much easier to make the case that there was bi-partisan opposition to conviction in Senate.

thuja on January 2, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Am I mistaken or did Bubba plead guilty to lying to the court and lose his license to practice law. On the other hand, there does not seem to be a constitutional reason for Burris not to be seated from Illinois.

ralph steadman on January 2, 2009 at 12:20 PM

We are living in the age of Dynasties in America. Kennedys, Bushs, Clintons. Just accept it.

shick on January 2, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Why not “go for the gold” and APPOINT THE REVEREND AL SHARPTON to fill in Hillary’s seat?

rocketman on January 2, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Heh…. Why not indeed? What’s the difference?

Only problem with that is, he looks too much like Charlie Rangel and they might be mistaken for brothers or something. We wouldn’t want the Democraps to be accused of cronyism now, would we?

UltimateBob on January 2, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Bill just wants to insert himself (so to speak) into the process and the limelight.

This is a one night stand for Bill. No way does he want to be married to a Senate seat and no way do the Senators want him there. He just wants the (ego) stroking without the commitment.

His attention will go elsewhere as soon as something moves.

moxie_neanderthal on January 2, 2009 at 12:30 PM

The whole process is cynical. The decision will not be made on the basis of New York’s best interests being served in the Senate. It will be decided on the basis of who will bring the most bucks to the DNC coffers amd who stands the best shot at winning the seat in future runoffs, thus perpetuating Dem power in the Senate.

Celebrity/name recognition and fund raising ability will determine Paterson’s call.

onlineanalyst on January 2, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Celebrity/name recognition and fund raising ability will determine Paterson’s call.

onlineanalyst on January 2, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Sounds like our new President-elect to me.

Rovin on January 2, 2009 at 12:44 PM

How can any analysis of a plan to send Bill Clinton to Congress fail to mention his impeachment and trial in 1998? Whether one believes the impeachment and trial to be appropriate — and the impeachment was an impressively bipartisan affair — the fact is that Congress heavily penalized this president for transgressions that cost him his bar membership.

Additionally, it was later reported that he was a hair-breadths from losing backroom Democratic support and being convicted. Only some serious scrambling by the Dems saved his bacon. There was a public face put on this that suggested unity in supporting Bill, but they first waited to see which way the public was leaning.

trl on January 2, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Sounds like our new President-elect to me.

Rovin on January 2, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Hey, it’s the Democrats’ MO– from the top down.

onlineanalyst on January 2, 2009 at 1:10 PM

The above should have been a quote, not a strike. Dooh.

onlineanalyst on January 2, 2009 at 1:11 PM

This is too cool. Will we call him President Clinton or Senator Clinton?

kanda on January 2, 2009 at 1:43 PM

“New York, like the rest of the states, deserves two serious, dedicated Senators doing the state’s work in the upper chamber without derailing the entire process. Clinton would be an immediate distraction and sideshow, sucking all of the air out of the room and turning efforts at serious work into a media sideshow.”
Yes, with endless speculation as to which intern he will give the knee pads to, or whether he will let them rotate. Oh my, the possi-bill-ities are endless.
This is just TOO good…

Christine on January 2, 2009 at 2:14 PM

This is too cool. Will we call him President Clinton or Senator Clinton?

kanda on January 2, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Senatorpresident Clinton, sort of German-sounding.

I wonder if there’s any chance the public will eventually get sick of this surreal farce and bring about a backlash?

ddrintn on January 2, 2009 at 2:26 PM

This is too cool. Will we call him President Clinton or Senator Clinton?
kanda on January 2, 2009 at 1:43 PM

He would be referred to as…
“The Senator formerly known as President”

Catseye on January 2, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Paterson should find one of those candidates and leave the celebrities and caretakers alone.

*sighs* FINE, I`ll do it!

ThePrez on January 2, 2009 at 2:56 PM

“New York, like the rest of the states, deserves two serious, dedicated Senators doing the state’s work in the upper chamber without derailing the entire process. Clinton would be an immediate distraction and sideshow, sucking all of the air out of the room and turning efforts at serious work into a media sideshow.”
Yes, with endless speculation as to which intern he will give the knee pads to, or whether he will let them rotate. Oh my, the possi-bill-ities are endless.
This is just TOO good…

Christine on January 2, 2009 at 2:14 PM

WTF, New York? First you elect a carpet bagger to the Senate! Now this! I thought we were screwed up here in Minnesota but we are minor league…

sabbott on January 2, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Why would “Wild Bill” even consider taking a “caretaker” role of his bedwarmer? “Wild Bill” does not care for anything other than himself, and a “caretaker” position would keep him in a position that would allow Hitlery to keep close tabs on him.

MSGTAS on January 4, 2009 at 8:44 AM