Granted, Connie Bruck's "Fault Lines" article in this week's New Yorker is hardly a paean to Tony Villaraigosa. It paints Los Angeles' new mayor as a man terminally on the make. "They'll never get me," he's quoted as saying, "I'm like Bill Clinton."
But is it really possible to write a long profile about our new mayor without any mention whatsoever of his efforts to get Bill Clinton to pardon Carlos Vignali's crack dealer son? This incident was publicized even before Villaraigosa got the hots to run for mayor in 2001, and it may well have cost him that election. Perhaps it's an innocent omission.
Admittedly it's an "old" scandal and then you'd have to remind readers Hugh Rodham received 400,000 dollars as a fee for Vignali's son's eventual pardon (yes, of course, he did get it from Bill) and that Hugh is Hillary's brother and I suppose that might have tilted the article a smidgeon to far from the Left Coast, making it a shade too parochial, too local, too... New York.
So why annoy Bill, or readers who are Hillary supporters? (Do I smell a bigger profile in the works -- one of the New York Senator?)
Then don't raise an unpleasant ordure. Wait until she gets nominated and let the Republicans do it! This kind of wisdom has cost us winnable elections in the past. And some Democrats might prefer a candidate who doesn't have to continually rise out of the slime.
Is this being too hard on the Clintons? Well, did Monica, Whitewater, the Rose law firm and that messy bit with the pardons at the end have anything at all to do with Pope W's election?
The sarcasm, if you haven't noticed, is thick here. Today's Sunday New York Times notes that Hill was among the last of the major candidates to withdraw from the Fox News-sponsored debate planned for next September, and you need only look to last weekend's "Eco-Tecture" issue of their Sunday magazine for broad hints of how spotty the Clinton environmental record was, including extremely luke-warm support of Kyoto.
As was presciently suggested by the Weekly Green Planet months ago, yes, Fabian Nunez, one of the two prime movers in advancing the date of the California primary supports Hillary.
Trailing in Iowa, her staff cleverly leaked a memo yesterday so she could scotch the rumor she's going to ignore Iowa while laying the predicate for its irrelevance. Basically, she has to give it less attention because that's what the primary season is going to demand of her. Not that she had anything to do with it.
Harry Shearer's public radio show LeShow has long enjoyed twitting the C's with a sound-alike spoof he calls "Clinton-Something". I'm looking forward to their last installments, hopefully this year.
But if they, the Clintons, garner the Democratic nomination he should rename and reframe it for another soon-to-be-defunct TV show -- The Clintanos -- with B. eating big bowls of ice cream and taking care of the family business while Carmelary is off building her spec house, a white one, in Washington.