Eyes Roll at Hyped-Up Showdown Between Clinton and Bush
The former presidents agree to face off at Radio City Music Hall. Pundits feign disinterest.
Mark your calendars! On February 25, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will share a stage at Radio City Music Hall to face off on the day's big issues. Organizers are billing the event as "the hottest political ticket in history." Though you can bet they'll cover it when the time rolls round, pundits are rolling their collective eyes. They note that fists didn't exactly fly when the two met in Toronto last year, and unless the former presidents are truly planning to brawl, the political theater is going to be a bore. But it could all for the best, since a real Clinton-Bush skirmish, some argue, wouldn't be a fair fight.
- Don't Hold Your Breath For Fireworks Rachel Sklar of Mediaite says "those looking for a knock-down drag-out fight should look back to Toronto for a sense of how this one will go — probably politely, chummily, and with a few key references to 'freedom.'” Sklar won't be watching. Unless, she says, the "Secretary of State is in the front row, heckling. I’d pay $1,250 to see that."
- Bored Old Men Wonkette says Clinton and Bush are no longer all that relevant. "Details are still fuzzy re: why anyone suggested this in the first place, what anyone believes the stakes to be or hopes to gain from this, or what’s in it for absolutely anyone—Clinton, Bush, the audience, Radio City Music Hall, or you, simply hearing in passing that this thing even exists."
- Unless There's a Brawl, We're Not Interested Rachel Slajda of Talking Points Memo says that the last time Clinton and Bush met, "they had a pleasant, friendly chat."
- Doesn't Seem Like a Fair Fight The Gothamist's John Del Signore says this may not end well for Bush. "Dimwitted former cheerleader and frat-boy boozer George W. Bush has agreed to face loquacious skirt-chaser and crafty triangulator Bill Clinton in a debate," he writes. Still though, "Clinton's too much of a centrist company man to bring the hammer down, and the fun will probably come, as usual, from watching Bush mis-articulate his deluded perspective on his 'legacy.' Still, to be safe, Clinton ought to pat Bush down thoroughly before the debate to make sure he's not cheating again."
Update, 3:08 p.m: The debate is officially off. The New York Post reports that the event was cancelled after "the promoter overhyped it as a death-match faceoff between the men."