Mon 10 Mar
The debut of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole’s Point-Counterpoint revival on tonight’s 60 Minutes was innocuous if basically shallow. But its most disappointing facet was the almost complete lack of ambition on display from one William Jefferson Clinton. The man is a victim of Johnny Marr syndrome if ever there was one, which is to say, he’s become an aimless dilettante.
I’ll be shocked if anything that these two political rivals ever have to say in this forum manages to influence the political discourse, and that’s exactly what I mean. The Point-Counterpoint format is cold and lifeless, and 60 Minutes itself leaves much to be desired in terms of political currency.
When President Clinton left office, he did so with more expectations than just about any President in history. In terms of age, acumen and political will, he was still at his prime, and great things were predicted. And yet in three years of private life, his impact on national politics amounts to little more than a star cameo on Must See TV. For a man so obsessed with his legacy, he seems not to realize that the Clinton historians are still working in draft mode.
What’s worse, Clinton let shifty-eyes Dole get the best line of the night when Dole suggested that perhaps he would donate his tax refund to the Clinton library. I’ve never admired his politics, but I freely admit Bob Dole is a genuine cut-up.