Is It Time to Bring Back Bill Clinton to Rail Against Egomaniac Newt Gingrich?

Bill Clinton and Abel Herrero
Is It Time to Bring Back Bill Clinton to Rail Against Egomaniac Newt Gingrich?(Flickr)

Washington Post columnist David Maraniss seems to think the Democrats need to bring back Bill Clinton to rail against egomaniac Newt Gingrich. The Drudge Report is running with David Maraniss’ column, as well as an article saying ‘Conservatives should not be surprised by scandals that lie ahead’ and R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.’s column in the New York Sun, entitled William Jefferson Gingrich, saying Newt Gingrich is the conservative version of Bill Clinton. Yeah, I know both Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich are narcissists, but I would take Bill any day of the week. At least he has personality.

David Maraniss:  “If Republicans, in their fervor to rid the White House of Barack Obama, are yet again experiencing The Temptation of Newt, then Democrats have only one illogically rational response in this modern American political hall of mirrors. They should bring back Bill Clinton.”

Of course, the law prohibits the Comeback Kid from coming back to serve a third term, and Obama might not go for it, but only old-school twits would let any of that get in the way. The Constitution and its amendments are so 18th, 19th and 20th century. The notion of persuading good ol’ Joe Biden to step aside in favor of Hillary as vice president is not sufficiently grandiose when it comes to going after Gingrich. As the former speaker his ownself might declare, Democrats frankly must unequivocally and eloquently undertake fundamental change so extraordinarily revolutionary that America will not be the same again.


Gingrich and Clinton share a propensity to think they are the smartest person in the room. When they were in rooms together, in the mid-1990s, Clinton dominated. He knew Gingrich’s vocabulary, he understood how to outwonk him, and the result was that the president mesmerized and overwhelmed the otherwise-cocky House speaker. “I’ve got a problem, I get in those meetings and as a person I like the President,” Gingrich acknowledged during the era, when I was reporting on the “Republican revolution” with my colleague Michael Weisskopf. “I melt when I’m around him. After I get out, I need two hours to detoxify. My people are nervous about me going in there because of the way I deal with this.”

Very interesting. But to be honest, no matter what you think of Bill Clinton, the man knows how to rally crowds and get people energized. So, while Newt Gingrich is taking all the credit for balancing the budget, the fall of the Soviet Union and so on, Bill Clinton can be a formidable weapon to draw.

Here’s an excerpt from Emmett Tyrrell Jr.’s column:

Newt and Bill are 1960s generation narcissists, and they share the same problems: waywardness and deviancy. Newt, like Bill, has a proclivity for girl hopping. It is not as egregious as Bill’s, but then Newt is not as drop-dead beautiful. His public record is already besmeared with tawdry divorces, and there are private encounters with the fair sex that doubtless will come out.

If I have heard of some, you can be sure the Democrats have heard of more. Nancy Pelosi’s intimations are timely. Newt up against the Prophet Obama would be a painful thing to watch. He might be deft with one-liners but it would be futile. There are independent and other uncommitted voters to be cultivated in 2012 — all would be unmoved by Newt’s juggling of conservative shibboleths.


Conservatives should not be surprised by the scandals that lie ahead, if they stick with him. Those of us, who raised the question of character in 1992, were confronted by an indignant Bill Clinton, treating the topic as a low blow. To listen to him, character was the “c” word of American politics. It was reprehensible to mention it. By now we know. Character matters. Paul, Santorum, and Romney have it. Newt has Clinton’s character.