When Bill Clinton calls you a huckster ...

Bill Clinton has a theory why Hillary Clinton attracts older voters, while Barack Obama does better with the younger set.  He told a crowd in a Pennsylvania suburb that Obama’s supporters are … inexperienced at dealing with political rhetoric.  In short — younger voters are saps for a younger, charismatic liar.  And he should know:

Older voters gravitate to Hillary Clinton because they’re too wise to be fooled by Barack Obama’s rhetoric, former president Bill Clinton told Pennsylvania voters today.

Clinton’s comments, to a packed high school gym about an hour north of Philadelphia, were one part presidential politics and one part legacy protection. His beef was with Obama’s contention that many of the problems facing the country today were simmering long before President Bush took office seven-plus years ago.

“I think there is a big reason there’s an age difference in a lot of these polls,” he said. “Because once you’ve reached a certain age, you won’t sit there and listen to somebody tell you there’s really no difference between what happened in the Bush years and the Clinton years; that there’s not much difference in how small-town Pennsylvania fared when I was president, and in this decade.”

Or maybe it’s just because they forget Obama’s in the race?

Last week, however, Clinton seemed to suggest that older voters might be more absent-minded than wise. Defending Hillary Clinton’s faulty recollection of landing under sniper fire during a 1996 humanitarian visit to Bosnia, the former president said of her critics, “When they’re 60, they’ll forget something when they’re tired at 11 o’clock at night, too.”

This looks like a case of right message, wrong messenger.  The last we heard from Bill, he singlehandedly worked to remind everyone how dishonest his wife had been with the Tuzla Dash.  The second quote came from his unsuccessful attempt to manipulate reality — and four claims to have been in terrible danger in her Bosnian USO adventure — into a single, late-night off-hand reference.  Hillary told him to shut his trap afterwards, and he did.

Maybe next time, Bill can waggle his finger at the audience.  That worked really well for him in 1997.

Still, Bill is right, and we can say that without parsing the word “is”.  Obama’s rhetoric doesn’t match reality, as we see with his ties to lobbyists and the oil companies after his loud insistence that he doesn’t take money from either.  The problem for Democrats is that the only two candidates left in the race have demonstrated a penchant for lying via ridiculous word parsing, and neither of them have Bill’s talent for getting away with it.