By Bob Herbert
The New York Times
April 19, 2008
Jimmy Carter managed to win the White House in 1976 by looking pious and riding a wave of anti-Watergate revulsion. After four hapless years, he dutifully handed the keys back to the G.O.P.
Bill Clinton tried hard to lose, with sex scandals and whatnot, during the 1992 campaign. But Ross Perot wouldn’t let him. Mr. Clinton won with a piddling 43 percent of the vote. For eight years, Mr. Clinton tried to throw the presidency away (with sex scandals and whatnot), but he was never able to succeed.
That’s been it for the party for the past 40 years. The Democrats have become so psychologically battered by these many decades in the leadership wilderness that they consider the Clinton years, during which the president was impeached and they lost control of both houses of Congress, to have been a period of triumph.
Now comes 2008, a can’t-lose year if there ever was one…