The Next Generation

I’ve never been a Bill Clinton fan, but one thing I admired about him was his refusal to throw mud on George H.W. Bush during the 1992 campaign. When asked about rumors circulating that Mr. Bush had a mistress, Mr. Clinton replied: “I’m not gonna comment. I didn’t like it when people said those things about me and I don’t like it when you say them about him.”

In the closing days of that campaign, Mr. Bush, clearly losing and clearly frustrated, took to calling Mr. Clinton and Al Gore “Bozo and the Ozone Man.” It sounded like a mouth full of sour grapes from a politician who’d always taken a higher road than that.

Now, with Barack Obama nosing ahead of Hillary Clinton in Iowa polls, it’s Mrs. Clinton’s turn to spew mud and sour grapes.

George H.W. Bush, though flawed and wrong-headed in many ways, is a far better person than his son. Bill Clinton, also flawed, also wrong-headed in many ways, now seems a better person than his wife.

In all this dynasty talk, that’s one point I haven’t seen mentioned: they tend to trend downward with each successive generation.

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