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Dan Rather, Still Pulling For the Clintons

Dan Rather started out the Clinton years by publicly embracing the Clintons. About 100 days in, he told the President at a CBS affiliates meeting "If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now and walk away winners." As the nightly content of the "CBS Evening News" demonstrates, he's never lost that loving feeling.

Rather had another chance to display his ardor on the December 3 "Larry King Live." He did not disappoint. First, he declared his passionate hatred for the Monica Lewinsky story, wishing it would go away like a bad headache: "I have hated it from the very beginning and I have hated right the way through...I have no apology. I hate it. I have hated it all the way through."

Rather explained that when the Monica story broke, he tried to stay in Havana for Pope John Paul's visit to Cuba: "That would have been a foolish thing for us to do, I suppose, but I was the last out of there because I kept hoping. I just said, oh, we have got a great story, the Pope in Cuba, and we're going to go back to cover something as sleazy as this. Naturally, we all came back and the rest is history. But I hate it, as well."

In 1993, Rather also declared to the President publicly: "Tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we're pulling for her." That feeling also never dies with Dan. He told Larry King she should be Time's "Person of the Year," and perhaps much more: "I would not be astonished to see Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee in 2000. Listen, I agree that Al Gore is the odds-on favorite. He's probably going to be the nominee. But...Here we are talking about a race almost two years away. Hillary Clinton, as far as I'm concerned, she's the Person of the Year, ...you talk about a comeback kid. She makes her husband look like Ned in knee pants in terms of comeback from where she was early in the Clinton administration. You know, you add it all up, and you can make a case that Hillary Clinton might, might - mark the word - be the strongest candidate for the Democrats."

Now what kind of wishful thinking is this? Like many liberals, Rather's insides tingle with the thought that America would elect (A) a woman and (B) a staunch leftist. If Hillary ever threw her hat into the ring, all the First Lady fuzziness would be gone and the gloves could be off, but hell would freeze over before Rather and Co. Would put her under the scrutiny any other presidential candidate would receive. Did she hire Craig Livingstone? What legal work did she do for Jim McDougal? What documents did she have shredded at the Rose Law Firm? Was her $100,000 commodities fortune an illegal gift instead of dumb luck? All these questions would keep churning in the conservative media, but would never see the light of day if Rather had his way on the Clinton Broadcasting System.

Rather declared perhaps she could just be appointed to the Supreme Court: "Now, we've had so many blue plate specials. If you're Al Gore - listen he's been a loyal Vice President. He is the odds-on favorite for the nomination. If you were Al Gore what would you do?" King replied: "Make her, ask her to be Vice President. Is that what you think? Is that where you're leading me?"

Rather said: "No, I think maybe I would say, 'You know, we want the goals of the Clinton administration to be achieved and to go forward. I need your help, First Lady, friend of mine, Hillary Clinton, and if I'm elected President, I will make you the next Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.' That's what I'd do, but Al Gore is a better man than I am and I doubt that he'd do it."

So there you have it. Hillary, the arch-leftist, Legal Services Corporation revolutionary, should be offered a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court. That confirmation process would be a doozy, wouldn't it? It would be especially wacky watching the anchor of CBS News pretending to be an objective, disinterested observer, and nothing more.