The Clintons Have Been Here Before

Joe Klein is correct. It’s easy to forget how steep of a climb Bill Clinton had to make to first win the Democratic nomination and then to win the presidency.

He had larger problems than an email server: he had recently been found out as a Vietnam draft dodger and a womanizer. People called him Slick Willie. Within weeks, he would be in a deeper, darker hole than Hillary has experienced this year-he would be running third, behind George H.W. Bush and the independent Ross Perot. By June, only 13% of the public thought him trustworthy. He was toast.

Of course, Joe Klein would go on to pseudonymously pen Primary Colors, a cynical portrayal of the way the Clintons weathered the storm and persevered. But that’s living history now and as relevant as ever because Hillary Clinton is about to run another general election campaign in which she will be savaged and in which her trustworthiness will be relentlessly questioned.

If you’re worried about how she (and he) will stand up to the scrutiny, you have the example of 1992 to reassure you, not to mention a long record since then, both in office and on the outside.

Whatever other misgivings you may have, it’s unlikely that they’re not ready for the storm.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.