Here We Go With “The Big Dog Goes Rogue” Meme

One of the prefab “narratives” of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, assuming there is one, will be a leftover from 2008: Bill Clinton “going rogue” and saying things that will embarrass his wife. And it’s already started:

Former President Bill Clinton says he agrees that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “not the guy” for a peace deal.

A C-SPAN video — first reported by Israeli newspaper Haaretz — shows the 42nd president at Sen. Tom Harkin’s Iowa steak fry on Sunday speaking with an individual along a rope line.

You can read various accounts of what Clinton said and who he said it to (all the conservative sites are reporting that he was yucking it up with like-minded “pro-Palestinian activists”), but you really have to focus on nuanced differences based on how HRC talks about Bibi Netanyahu to be genuinely surprising by this “gaffe.” Does anyone–most particularly his biggest fans–think Bibi Netanyahu wants a “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict? He’s clearly “not the guy” for such a solution. That should be completely non-controversial, and again, a lot of the conservatives who are shrieking about this hate the very idea of a two-state solution themselves.

But the Clintons definitely need to understand this sort of crap is going to happen every time The Big Dog opens his mouth. The idea of a former two-term President of the United States having to get his remarks vetted by some campaign operative who was in high school when Clinton was negotiating with the Israelis and Palestinians may seem humiliating. But it may come to that.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.