Monday, January 03, 2005

A Smart Move

President Bush has made a tactically brilliant move in appointing Bill Clinton to serve with his own father, the first President Bush, in heading an American fundraising effort to aid the victims of Asia’s tsunami.

It’s been apparent ever since he left office that Bill Clinton can not be long out of the media spotlight. Most recently, he announced this week after news of the tsunami, “It is really important that somebody takes the lead in this…” The implied criticism, of course, was that President Bush wasn’t cutting it.

Since Clinton is so determined to jump back onstage at every opportunity, why not give him something useful and important to do and to say? Placing him in a leadership role for fundraising efforts nationwide will not only keep the former President happy, it might even persuade enough venomous Democrats to stop criticizing the “stingy” United States long enough to start pitching in with some much-needed cash donations.

President Bush is laying some excellent groundwork for bipartisanship going forward in his second term. The Democrats have long been under the unbreakable spell of Bill Clinton. Satisfied to be back in the news, starring in a high-profile role, Clinton probably will have several positive things to say about G.W. Bush for the foreseeable future. This will steal a lot of steam out of the anti-Bush balloons abounding within the opposition. The fact that Clinton has been teamed with the first President Bush only adds luster to this new star on his chest, and it goes beyond the fact that “Bush 41” is the President Bush’s own father. Clinton is now working in tandem with both his predecessor and his successor, sandwiched snugly in between them like—well, like a hunk of ham in a sandwich.

That’s a caustic metaphor, and I apologize—but it’s too pertinent to delete. Clinton’s love of media attention is legend, and his charisma is undeniable. I know that the American fundraising team of former Presidents Bush and Clinton will be a highly effective, valuable tool for raising the cash necessary to deal with the overwhelming disaster in Asia. And that is the bottom line. Americans should do whatever we can to help those suffering such terrible pain on the other side of the world. Appointing two former presidents to remind us of our obligations in this crisis is a very wise, very compassionate act. Once again, President Bush has demonstrated his willingness to do whatever is necessary to accomplish the goals he has set both for the United States and for himself as our leader.

Now, okay, Bill, take it away.