Andrew Sullivan declared Clintons have "a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward"

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

Andrew Sullivan compared the revival of Sen. Hillary Clinton's political fortunes to a "horror movie" and described former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as having "a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward." Sullivan wrote that the Clintons "are like the new 28 Days Later zombies. They come at you really quickly, like bats out of hell. Or Ohio, anyway."

In a March 9 op-ed in London's Sunday Times, Atlantic senior editor and blogger Andrew Sullivan compared the revival of Sen. Hillary Clinton's political fortunes to a "horror movie" and described former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as having "a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward." Sullivan also compared Hillary Clinton to "Glenn Close in the bathtub in Fatal Attraction -- whoosh! She's back at your throat." Citing the continuing race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sullivan added, "You can't escape; you can't hide; and you can't win. And these days, in the kinetic pace of the YouTube campaign, [the Clintons] are like the new 28 Days Later zombies. They come at you really quickly, like bats out of hell. Or Ohio, anyway." He also wrote: "There have been moments this past week when I have felt physically ill at the thought of that pair returning to power." Sullivan attacked the Clintons despite stating in a January 10 post on his blog The Daily Dish that "I'm going to try a little harder to be a little more temperate" when discussing them.

Sullivan also wrote that "[r]eleasing tax returns is routine for a presidential candidate" and criticized the "secrecy and paranoia" of the Clintons, who "still haven't" released their tax returns, as compared with Sen. Barack Obama, who "did it some time back." But Sullivan did not note that "[t]he presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, hasn't released his tax returns either," as The Wall Street Journal reported on February 23. Moreover, while Sullivan complained that "the Clintons" have indicated that they will not release their returns "for more than another month," according to a February 27 Washington Post editorial, McCain has yet to even express intent to disclose his returns, a fact that the Post criticized as "[m]ost troubling":

Most troubling, Mr. McCain isn't even pledging to release his returns once he becomes the nominee.

[...]

He [McCain] is the all-but-official GOP nominee, yet his communications director, Jill Hazelbaker, told us in an e-mail that she had "not yet discussed" the matter with Mr. McCain. "He is not the nominee of the party at this time, and we're focused on winning primary contests and wrapping up the nomination," she wrote. "When the right time comes I will have that discussion and get you an answer to your questions." With all due respect, Mr. McCain, the right time is now.

Conservative radio host Monica Crowley also made the Glenn Close/Fatal Attraction comparison on the January 13 edition of the syndicated program The McLaughlin Group.

From Sullivan's March 9 op-ed in The Sunday Times:

It's alive! We thought it might be over but some of us never dared fully believe it. Last week was like one of those moments in a horror movie when the worst terror recedes, the screen goes blank and then reopens on green fields or a lover's tender embrace. Drained but still naive audiences breathe a collective sigh of relief. The plot twists have all been resolved; the threat is gone; the quiet spreads. And then ...

Put your own movie analogy in here. Glenn Close in the bathtub in Fatal Attraction -- whoosh! she's back at your throat! -- has often occurred to me when covering the Clintons these many years. The Oscars host Jon Stewart compares them to a Terminator: the kind that is splattered into a million tiny droplets of vaporised metal...only to pool together spontaneously and charge back at you unfazed.

The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their supremacy. You can't escape; you can't hide; and you can't win. And these days, in the kinetic pace of the YouTube campaign, they are like the new 28 Days Later zombies. They come at you really quickly, like bats out of hell. Or Ohio, anyway.

Now all this may seem a little melodramatic. Perhaps it is. Objectively, an accomplished senator won a couple of races -- one by a mere 3% -- against another senator in a presidential campaign. One senator is still mathematically unbeatable. But that will never capture the emotional toll that the Clintons continue to take on some of us. I'm not kidding. I woke up in a cold sweat early last Wednesday. There have been moments this past week when I have felt physically ill at the thought of that pair returning to power.

Why? I have had to write several columns in this space over the years acknowledging that the substantive legacy of the Clinton administration (with a lot of assist from Newt Gingrich) was a perfectly respectable one: welfare reform, fiscal sanity, prudent foreign policy, leaner government. But remembering the day-to-day psychodramas of those years still floods my frontal cortex with waves of loathing and anxiety. The further away you are from them, the easier it is to think they're fine. Up close they are an intolerable, endless, soul-sapping soap opera.

[...]

Last Thursday The Washington Post ran an article reporting on the almost comic divisions within the Clinton camp: how chaotic the planning had been, how much chief pollster Mark Penn hated all the other advisers, how even in the wake of a sudden victory most of the Clintonites were eager to score rancid points off each other.

The secrecy and paranoia endure too. Releasing tax returns is routine for a presidential candidate. Barack Obama did it some time back. The Clintons still haven't -- and say they won't for more than another month. Why? They have no explanation. They seem affronted by the question.

Network/Outlet
The London Times
Person
Andrew Sullivan
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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