The Clintons, a horror film that never ends

The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their supremacy. You can’t escape; you can’t hide; and you can’t win. And these days, in the kinetic pace of the YouTube campaign, they are like the new 28 Days Later zombies. They come at you really quickly, like bats out of hell. Or Ohio, anyway.

When you look at the electoral map if the Clintons run again, you also see a reversion to the old patterns of the 1990s – the patterns that cynical political strategists such as Karl Rove and Dick Morris have been exploiting for two decades. The country – scrambled by the post-baby-boomer pragmatism of Obama – snaps back into classic red-blue mode, with the blue areas denoting Democratic-leaning states around the edge and true red Republican states in the heartlands.

The Clintons are comfortable with this polarisation. They need it. Even when running against a fellow Democrat, they instinctively reach for it. Last week, in response to the Obama camp’s request that they release their tax returns, Clinton’s spokesman called Obama a new Ken Starr. For the Clintons, all Democrats who oppose them are . . . Republicans. And all Republicans are evil.

And evil means that anything the Clintons do in self-defence is excusable – even playing the race card, and the Muslim card, and the gender card, and every sleazy gambit that the politics of fear can come up with. This is how they have arrested the Obama juggernaut. It’s the only game they know how to play.

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