Bill Clinton Hurts the Democratic Party … Again

by Paul Hogarth on June 9, 2010

In a stunning upset, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln defeated a primary challenge last night from Democrat Bill Halter – a race she had been favored to lose. For that, she can thank Arkansas’ favorite son – former President Bill Clinton, who campaigned all over the state in the final days for her re-election. Lincoln is a doomed incumbent with awful poll numbers – and her primary victory now gives Republican John Bozeman a far better chance at prevailing in November. But it wasn’t the first time Bubba reared his head to hurt the Democratic Party – all in the name of a thinly veiled centrism. Clinton taught Democrats throughout the 1990’s that they should run against their base – proving their “toughness” by trashing progressives. It’s a legacy that gave us George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger and House Speaker Newt Gingrich – while Clinton Democrats fed at the corporate trough. Lincoln practiced the art of Clintonism, by killing a public option for health care and then bragging about it to voters. She may have won last night’s battle, but it was Bubba who really had more riding on it – losing Blanche Lincoln would have ended Clintonism

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