Dan Rather, Still Pulling For the Clintons
by L. Brent Bozell III
December 10, 1998
Dan Rather started out the Clinton years by
publicly embracing the Clintons. About 100 days in, he told the President at a
CBS affiliates meeting "If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and
Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now
and walk away winners." As the nightly content of the "CBS Evening
News" demonstrates, he's never lost that loving feeling.
Rather had another chance to display his ardor
on the December 3 "Larry King Live." He did not disappoint. First,
he declared his passionate hatred for the Monica Lewinsky story, wishing it
would go away like a bad headache: "I have hated it from the very
beginning and I have hated right the way through...I have no apology. I hate
it. I have hated it all the way through."
Rather explained that when the Monica story
broke, he tried to stay in Havana for Pope John Paul's visit to Cuba:
"That would have been a foolish thing for us to do, I suppose, but I was
the last out of there because I kept hoping. I just said, oh, we have got a
great story, the Pope in Cuba, and we're going to go back to cover something
as sleazy as this. Naturally, we all came back and the rest is history. But I
hate it, as well."
In 1993, Rather also declared to the President
publicly: "Tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we're pulling for
her." That feeling also never dies with Dan. He told Larry King she
should be Time's "Person of the Year," and perhaps much more:
"I would not be astonished to see Hillary Clinton be the Democratic
nominee in 2000. Listen, I agree that Al Gore is the odds-on favorite. He's
probably going to be the nominee. But...Here we are talking about a race
almost two years away. Hillary Clinton, as far as I'm concerned, she's the
Person of the Year, ...you talk about a comeback kid. She makes her husband
look like Ned in knee pants in terms of comeback from where she was early in
the Clinton administration. You know, you add it all up, and you can make a
case that Hillary Clinton might, might -- mark the word -- be the strongest
candidate for the Democrats."
Now what kind of wishful thinking is this? Like
many liberals, Rather's insides tingle with the thought that America would
elect (A) a woman and (B) a staunch leftist. If Hillary ever threw her hat
into the ring, all the First Lady fuzziness would be gone and the gloves could
be off, but hell would freeze over before Rather and Co. Would put her under
the scrutiny any other presidential candidate would receive. Did she hire
Craig Livingstone? What legal work did she do for Jim McDougal? What documents
did she have shredded at the Rose Law Firm? Was her $100,000 commodities
fortune an illegal gift instead of dumb luck? All these questions would keep
churning in the conservative media, but would never see the light of day if
Rather had his way on the Clinton Broadcasting System.
Rather declared perhaps she could just be
appointed to the Supreme Court: "Now, we've had so many blue plate
specials. If you're Al Gore -- listen he's been a loyal Vice President. He is
the odds-on favorite for the nomination. If you were Al Gore what would you
do?" King replied: "Make her, ask her to be Vice President. Is that
what you think? Is that where you're leading me?"
Rather said: "No, I think maybe I would
say, 'You know, we want the goals of the Clinton administration to be achieved
and to go forward. I need your help, First Lady, friend of mine, Hillary
Clinton, and if I'm elected President, I will make you the next Chief Justice
of the United States Supreme Court.' That's what I'd do, but Al Gore is a
better man than I am and I doubt that he'd do it."
So there you have it. Hillary, the
arch-leftist, Legal Services Corporation revolutionary, should be
offered a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court. That
confirmation process would be a doozy, wouldn't it? It would be especially
wacky watching the anchor of CBS News pretending to be an objective,
disinterested observer, and nothing more.
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