The Clinton Machine: 1992-2008

Pareene · 11/05/08 04:11PM

Obama beat them, and didn't need them to win. The punditariat clamored for Obama to beg Bill for his support, they trashed Bill for failing to deliver it lustily enough, and they fretted over whether Obama would underperform in the areas in which Hillary became an extremely unlikely working class hero. Then Obama won, handily, with barely any help from Bill and Hil, which was Bill's greatest fear, because Obama doesn't look to his presidency as a model for success, he looks to Reagan. The Clinton era: over. It'll barely register in the history books.We feel bad saying it, actually, because Bill is an incredibly gifted and skilled politician (we've seen him work a room, he's superhuman) and he meant well but his presidency, while on the whole a slight success, was kind of a mess. The economy was stewarded well and foreign policy was mostly responsible. But it also set up the Republican Revolution and devolved into a surreal farce that took up the entirety of 1998 and drove everyone mad and exacerbated the culture wars and led right to eight years of Bush, sort of. And for a while, it looked like Clinton's greatest legacy would be his political acumen and his new and improved centrist DLC, the organization that would provide the keys to the next Democratic victory. Well. In 2000 they got out-lawyered in Florida, in 2004 they couldn't eke out a slim victory from a divided elctorate, in the in 2008 primaries Hillary got beat, handily, by a charismatic nobody with a slim record. Come the general election, Obama went with a modified version of Howard Dean's 50 state strategy, expanding the map instead of focusing on two or three battlegrounds at any cost. He didn't reach out to Bill in any real way and didn't bitch when Bill didn't reach out to him. There's probably not room for Bill or Hillary in his cabinet, as much as a Bill Clinton Supreme Court nomination would be hilarious. And this means, basically, that the Clinton era has ended. He shoved the party to the right, yes, but it remains to be seen how long that rightward shift will last in a nation that might be trending left, economically at least. It's kinda sad, really, but Bill does still have his private jets full of models. All Hillary gets is her stupid Senate seat she didn't even want.

Already Over: New York Yankees

pevans · 08/25/06 01:30PM

There was a time when the Yankees represented all that was beautiful about the world of sports. All the nice buzzwords were appropriate: professionals, leadership, young, hungry, and most importantly, successful. From 1996-2000, the Yankees dominated baseball to the tune of four World Series victories in five years. They were undisputed baseball royalty.

Already Over: New York

abalk2 · 08/24/06 03:50PM

It's a hell of a town. The Bronx is up, The Battery's - ah, who gives a shit where The Battery is. Who gives a shit about New York, really? It's as if some group of evil masterminds got together and said, Let's create a place that we can fill full of douchebags who aren't pretty enough to make it in Hollywood or charismatic enough to wind up in D.C. Furthermore, let's tell them how "creative" and "bohemian" they are, and let's make them think that they're the final arbiters of what the rest of the country sees, hears, and reads. But let's make sure that these are the most insecure people in the world, so that telling them that they make those decisions serves to fuel the rampant egomania and self-importance so commonly masked by insecurity.

Already Over: 'Vice' Magazine

Chris Mohney · 08/24/06 01:30PM

The first time you encounter Vice magazine, you're amused at the audacity of the prose subjects and fascinated by the gritty photography. You might have been drawn in by the widely imitated DOs and DON'Ts feature, a genius invention which mocks endless reams of hipster photos on their dress, appearance, and questionable worth as human beings. And perhaps you've become enamored by the caustically funny antics of cofounder and "spokesman" Gavin McInnes.

Already Over: Secret Clubs

abalk2 · 08/23/06 05:40PM

We're not going to mention any names, because none of these places deserve the publicity, but you know what we're talking about: They're in the back room of an otherwise legitimate restaurant. Or they're unmarked. You either need a password, personal acquaintance of the proprietor, or astonishing hotness to get in. Sometimes celebrities own a piece of these establishments, which make them that much more exciting.

Already Over: Jumping the Shark

Chris Mohney · 08/23/06 01:45PM

If you don't instinctively cringe when merely reading the phrase "jumping the shark," then let us welcome you to the Internet, as you're obviously new here. If you actually have the temerity to use this phrase, or worse, speak it aloud, there aren't enough boots in the world to kick your ass hard enough. Trotted out with stultifying predictability to signify affected disenchantment for most any occasion, anyone using the phrase instantly self-identifies as a craven approval-seeker flashing a hipster gang sign long past its prime. Even the occasional innocent protest about the phrase's expiration makes no dent in its hackneyed ascendance in the lingo of would-be wits.

Remainders: The Pessl Effect

Jessica · 08/22/06 06:05PM

• Stemming from our examination of "book hot" and Marisha Pessl, it's literary Hot-or-Not. Let's just say that lighting makes a world of difference. [NY/NZ]
• Adrien Grenier insulates his pad with recycled denim. And all the crunchy hippy girls swoooon. [Newsweek via Brownstoner]
• Arabs love spring break cartoons! [New Yorkette]
• Saying that "Already Over" is already over is, in itself, already over. So get over it. [Flickr]
• Big changes at Saturday Night Live: now that Fey's gone, four more cast members are being cut. The real question: do we trust Seth Myers as sole head writer? [NYP]
• Breaking: Americans jerk off in hotel rooms. [AP]
• There was once a time when Leigh Lezark couldn't imagine doing anything but photography. Those days have passed; now she can't imagine doing anything but modeling balloon sleeves and drinking rosé with Cathy Horyn. [Hunter]

Already Over: Katie Couric

Chris Mohney · 08/22/06 03:30PM

Katie Couric takes over as anchor of CBS Evening News on September 5. Normally that would be all ye know, and all ye need to know. But in the networks' continuing struggle to remake every anchor into a hybrid of Cronkitean gravitas and Brokawvian humility, Couric has already been pre-killed by a tidal wave of overexposure. From a mawkishly overwrought farewell on Today to a ludicrously conceived "listening tour" and a $10 million ad campaign to build up her "trustiness," Couric is everywhere too much and too loud. And with so much overthinking about the hustle & flow of her newscast, it's obviously going to be The Katie Couric Show (with news).

Already Over: Fame

abalk2 · 08/22/06 01:50PM

We once had a boss who was fairly well-to-do financially, but it wasn't the money that drove him. He didn't care about the trappings of success (well, no more so than the rest of us); for him, the greatest part about wealth was the access it provided. He wanted money only as a means to furthering his own fame. Nothing was more important to him than being talked about, discussed, gossiped over.

Already Over: Jews

Jessica · 08/22/06 01:00PM

Let's start by saying we're not forsaking Israel or siding with Hezbollah or proclaiming our love for Mel Gibson. But? We do think the Jew thing is a little tired. Who isn't Jewish nowadays? Being a part of the tribe, one of God's chosen ones — we're just not so special anymore.

Already Over: 'Tabloid Wars'

Jessica · 08/22/06 08:42AM

No, seriously. The show ended last night. In an unannounced series finale, Bravo aired the final two episodes of Daily News docu-series Tabloid Wars last night — and we didn't even watch.* Not just because the back-to-back episodes started at 7 PM (which is like the early bird special of television scheduling), but because after last week, we were just bored with the crap. Yes, our love for the show started strong, but we're fickle. Even our lust for deputy metro man muffin Greg Gittrich (who, by the by, is married to Times reporter Michelle Higgins, of the Escapes section) couldn't convince us to sit down and endure 2 hours of possibly boring programming. We'd gladly leave the finale coverage to FishbowlNY's Dylan Stableford — except not even he caught last night's finale, so we're unable to so much as liveblog his obsessive liveblogging. Now our entire Tuesday's been thrown off, dammit. Look what you've done, Bravo.

Already Over: Gothamist's "What's Fresh"

Chris Mohney · 08/21/06 03:45PM

There's no small irony — that's right, you heard us, irony — in a regular column entitled "What's Fresh" turning out stale as a desiccated corn-cob. The very idea of not just one post, but an ongoing series of Gothamist blog posts dedicated to whatever greenmarket item comes to hand is deadly dull enough to make grandma's cat hack up a doily in disgust. But perhaps the column gives us a colorful, intrepid culinary adventurer who hunts down the most exotic and startling ingredients available in this cosmopolitan city? What exciting things have recently been fresh?

Already Over: Trendy Jargon

Jessica · 08/21/06 03:05PM

If you saw the article in the Times Magazine entitled "The Ling" back in July, you're going to know exactly what we're talking about: the popular abbreviation of language, such that we all speak in adorable, single syllables. Yes, we're guilty of writing "natch" instead of "naturally," and our frantic instant messages are heavily peppered with "whatevs" and "obvs" (as originated by Mark Graham of Whatevs, who really isn't to blame for the direction in which this has all gone). And that's really okay — the IMs, the text messages, the situations where you have to type so fast that your fingers are moving more quickly than your brain ever could.

Already Over: Gawker

abalk2 · 08/21/06 01:15PM

The summer's not the only thing that's practically finished. Presenting Gawker's weeklong series Already Over, where we focus only on the interesting side of the classic "What's In/What's Out" list. Because anything "in" is already "out" or on its way, so let's just eliminate the middleman, shall we? With each installment, you'll be treated to an unsparing profile of whatever needs to be dragged into the weeds and put down for good. And just to kick things off in style, let's look no further than Gawker.