Click here to listen to the “You Tell Me” segment broadcast on Newstalk 600 KTBB Friday, Nov. 9, 2007

This past week, for the first time, Hillary Clinton’s carefully controlled, highly scripted, enormously disciplined political mechanism hiccupped. At the Democratic presidential candidates debate in Philadelphia, Tim Russert asked her for her stand on the decision by New York governor Eliot Spitzer to issue driver licenses to illegal aliens.

Here is what she said. Click here.

For once, I agree with Obama and Edwards. Click here.

For a whole list of reasons having to do with her far left base, Hillary cannot afford to answer the question and she lacks the skills of her husband to make the question go away.

Here’s how Bill might have handled it. Click here.

As we learned in eight years of his administration, Bill Clinton is fatally flawed. He lacks a moral compass. He is astonishingly self-centered. He is given to sociopathic behavior. He is a user of people. He will ruthlessly destroy an enemy. He seeks power for the sake of power and will bend his principles into any shape necessary to get what he wants.

How is Hillary different?

The answer is, she’s not.

Except for the fact that she is not very likeable. She has none of the natural gifts of her husband. I cannot detect a molecule of natural charm.

At the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004 I saw Hillary in an unguarded moment talking to an aide. I felt sorry for the aide. The way she talked to that young woman was shameful.

But aside from her nastier temperament, she has the same instincts as Bill. She will say whatever she has to say or dissemble when she has to dissemble in order to advance her ambitions.

Current polls say she has a slightly better than fifty-fifty chance of becoming the next president.

This is not about politics for me. For right now it’s not about conservative vs. liberal, higher taxes or lower taxes, universal health care or market-driven health care or any other ideology.

It’s about the reality of the Clintons as people. Do we really believe that the Clintons have changed in eight years since they last resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

If you believe they have changed, what is your basis for that belief? It can’t be Hillary’s answer to Tim Russert’s question. That was pure Clinton evasion of a politically touchy question – minus the skill and charm.

If you believe the Clintons are the Clintons, are we ready for that circus to come back to town? Even if you are a committed liberal Democrat, are you ready for a fresh round of Travelegates and Whitewaters and Chinese fundraisers and rental of the Lincoln bedroom? Are you ready for the backwash of lawsuits and allegations and perpetual controversy that inevitably follows this couple?

The American form of government is sufficiently brilliant in its design as to survive the policy failures of one or another presidential administration. If Hillary is elected, I’m sure the republic will press on.

But for my money, even if I agreed with their politics, I’m certain that I can’t stand the thought of the Clinton dramas back on the national stage.

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