When President Clinton pardoned “billionaire fugitive” Marc Rich, there was no accompanying video of the sort Sarah Palin’s critics are laughing at as I write this post. But imagine if you can, what that video would look like. Picture Clinton standing in front of a large movie screen as he grants the pardon. On the screen behind him, we see Rich and his partner, Pincus Green, striking deals with Iran, even as American hostages languish in captivity in our embassy in Tehran. We later see them in some smoke-filled back room conniving ways they could screw the Treasury and, by extension, the American people out of millions of tax dollars. Suddenly U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani appears on screen with a grand jury at his side, waving an indictment for all to see. And just as suddenly, we’d see Marc wandering through Geneva’s Les Rues-Bassess, cell phone at his ear.
“Denise, maybe a few donations to the Clinton Library would get his attention. See what you can do.”
“Sounds good. What do you think? A million, $2 million?”
The rest of the conversation is hard to hear because Clinton’s voice grows louder and more firm as he offers up one lame excuse after another for his pardon. “These things usually get handled in civil court,” he claims, “and besides Ehud Barak and Bernard Wolfman and Scooter Libby say Mr. Rich didn’t do . . .” his voice trails off, as Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder appears on the screen. He’s talking to Jack Quinn, Rich’s attorney. We hear him say, “You should go straight to the White House with this. The timing is good.”
On the screen we see words highlighted from a Quinn e-mail. “The greatest danger [to our securing a pardon] lies with the [New York prosecutors],” it says. “I’ve worked them hard and I am hopeful that E. Holder will be helpful to us.”
We then see some more words appear on screen, this time it’s Holder’s words from his assessment of a potential pardon, indicating that he is “neutral to leaning favorable” on a pardon for Rich.
Finally, we get to see Mr. Quinn on screen one more time, this time testifying that Holder called him after the pardon to tell him “good job” and to ask him to think about hiring two former aids, one of whom had already contacted Quinn at Holder’s suggestion.
The video fades to black.
Now, I’ll grant that the video I describe is not nearly as funny–as in “ain’t that Redneck governor funny,” funny–and it’s hard to top a guy in insulated overalls stuffing a turkey into some sort of turkey blender, but you have to admit that my little video would get the blogosphere laughing and talking about how change is good cause we don’t want to repeat the mistakes of either the Bush or the Clinton years. And I mean, can you get much funnier than the irony we see playing out currently, what with Eric Holder being first in line to be the next Attorney General. Now that’s Rich!