Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Democratic Strategist Misses Opportunities on ABC-Clinton Controversy

Reported by Judy - September 7, 2006 -

ABC's mini-series that claims, without foundation, that President Clinton was distracted from the threat of Osama bin Laden by the Monica Lewinsky scandal got an airing on Fox News' "Dayside" on Thursday, but the Democratic strategist called on to debate the issue let some opportunities pass her by.

The "Dayside" segment featured comments from Julie Roginsky, a Democratic strategist, and Terry Holt, a Republican strategist. "Dayside" co-host Mike Jerrick did a reasonably fair job introducing the segment and pitching questions to the pair.

Roginsky started out strong, criticizing ABC for airing a program that is factually wrong. "You can't just wing it on something like this. You really need to have all your facts in order. I'm surprised because Tom Kean, who was the head of the 9/11 Commission and who was apparently a paid consultant to this movie, in fact, his own commission said that the facts in this movie are wrong. I’m just very confused as to why ABC would do this," she said.

Holt claimed that President Clinton and other Democrats are upset about the program because "it reminds the American public two months before an election that the Democrats are soft on terrorism and don’t know how to prosecute the war on terror, so they’re really upset about this not because of inaccuracies but because it points to a basic weakness in the Democratic Party’s agenda when it comes to terrorism.”

Roginsky criticized Republicans for politicizing 9/11 and predicted it would backfire on them in November, prompting Holt to claim, "Maybe it will stop your party from embracing Michael Moore." Roginsky got in another good lick, noting, "Don't forget Osama bin Laden happened on your watch."

Holt replied that George Bush hadn't been in office long enough to know about Osama bin Laden, but that Clinton knew a lot about him but "They were distracted. ... This was an administration that was completely overtaken by a sex scandal. ... In fact we didn’t talk about anything else in this town except Monica Lewinsky in the last three years of his administration."

Jerrick noted that when Clinton did launch a missile attack in retaliation, Republicans complained that he was "just wagging the dog." Roginsky, however, seemed to disappear from the conversation, letting Holt hold the floor for too long. As for Holt's claims that "we didn't talk about anything else in this town except Monica Lewinsky," Roginsky should have jumped on that and blamed Republicans for making an issue out of something so minor when important matters needed to be attended to. She failed to put Republicans on the defensive for their witchhunt.

When she did go back on the attack, Roginsky rightly brought up the August memo about al Qaeda wanting to attack in the U.S., the memo that Bush ignored one month before 9/11, and she said that Bush himself as distracted the nation from the real war on terror with the ill-fated adventure in Iraq.

Overall, Roginsky did OK, but she did miss an opportunity in the middle of the segment to put Republicans on the defensive for wasting the nation's time on the impeachment fiasco.