How Clintonian: Bob Filner is going to parry like it’s 1998

SAN DIEGO — Late last week, Mayor Bob Filner was playing the Hollywood card when it comes to the multiple sexual harassment allegations against him. Filner said he had a problem, pleaded for forgiveness and vowed to get therapy. Hey, it paid off for Robert Downey Jr.

That didn’t stop the bleeding. Six of the nine San Diego City Council members now want him out, as do Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez — the city’s de facto labor boss — and Congresswoman Susan Davis, who served many years with Filner in the House. No one seems to have the mayor’s back except for Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who somehow thinks the mayor is courageous.

So a new week has dawned, and with it a new strategy. Filner now says that wasn’t sex harassment — that was him berating people for not meeting his high standards. Filner’s allies also are seeding comment sections and social media with the idea that he’s the victim of an orchestrated conspiracy.

How downright Clintonian! Bob Filner is going to parry like it’s 1998.

No, Bob Filner is not Bill Clinton — but Bill would definitely approve of his tactics

gI_125909_Twit_Pic_Clinton_EndorsementOf course, Filner’s alleged serial groping is different in key ways than Clinton’s scandal. With Clinton, the focus was on his consensual sexual relations with intern-turned-aide Monica Lewinsky. (No one remembers this, but Bill was somewhat credibly accused of groping by Kathleen Willey and also accused, with marginal credibility, of rape by Juanita Broderick.) Filner’s groping is unwanted, allegedly focused on female aides, favor-seekers and constituents naive enough to sit with him alone in a room. There will be actual victims testifying against Filner if this follows the normal arc of high-profile sex harassment cases.

But in Filner’s basic strategy, the Clinton playbook plainly has been consulted. Clinton said there was no real scandal, his critics are corrupt and the women accusing him of things are far from saints.

This is from an op-ed from Filner that is running in Tuesday’s U-T San Diego. Loads of Clinton vibes:

“I have acknowledged that at times I have treated the people with whom I work poorly. I am impatient and demanding. My aggressive style of fighting for the underdog has allowed me to be successful in the past. As a Congressman, my ‘rattle-the-cages’ approach helped me champion many causes — from support for our returning veterans to pay equity in our workforce. As mayor, I have very high expectations for our City, and when people I’m counting on don’t perform, I get upset. I now recognize that approach has been seen by some as disrespectful.

“However, there’s a big difference between being a difficult guy to work for and being guilty of sexual harassment …”

Groan: ‘Do you want a guy who sleeps with you or with biz community?’

That’s the official Filner spin. Here’s the unofficial Filner spin seen on social media:

“So, do you want a guy who wants to sleep with you, or a guy who wants to sleep with the business community?

“Anonymous sexual allegations designed to eliminate strong politicians are nothing new. Sex used to be private, but now, after Clinton, it’s public. Whoever would replace Filner, the progressive community will not get a better mayor.

“Without Filner, a strong leader (likely on testosterone replacement therapy), we will fail as a City, and the region will likely collapse as the inner city becomes an isolated threat to the rest of the county.

“If the progressives disintegrate instead of uniting behind their mayor, then our opponents win. This is classic Machiavellian divide and conquer, make your enemies fight among themselves, and you need not fear them.

“I like Donna Frye, but she has made a mistake representing women who would refuse to identify themselves in public. I understand her ethical stance, but unless we empower women to speak openly, to face those they fear, then we have not done justice, only slander.”

LOL — Bob Filner stands for the “empowerment” of women. Bill Clinton would get a belly laugh out of that — at least if he were off camera.

Stay tuned. This has such a classic made-for-cable-news dynamic that it should go national soon. Jeffrey Toobin! Shepard Smith! Anderson Cooper! Come on down!




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  1. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 16 July, 2013, 09:07

    “However, there’s a big difference between being a difficult guy to work for and being guilty of sexual harassment …”

    Translation – I’m a complete A-Hole but not a sexual predator. Nice character reference there huh?

    “With Clinton, the focus was on his consensual sexual relations with intern-turned-aide Monica Lewinsky.”

    That was the Official Media focus anyway. Chris, surely you haven’t forgotten that the Paula Jones lawsuit preceded the Lewinsky scandal. Just to refresh memories, the Pervert In Chief introduced himself to Ms. Jones in a hotel room by proudly displaying Little Willie. That incident is what started “The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” to get poor little innocent Billy and Hilly.

    It’s amazing what the Prog-Bots will defend in order to push their demented agenda. Not surprising though since they still worship the Clinton Crime Family and treat Peckerwood Willie like a Jesus Christ/George Washington hybrid. I wonder how many women have been paid/intimidated into silence by Billy and Hilly since the Philanderer In Chief left the Oval Orifice. Now that they’re worth hundreds of millions they can afford the pay-offs themselves. No need to beg money off of billionaire buddies.

    Reply this comment
  2. stolson
    stolson 16 July, 2013, 09:40

    Powerful men expect women to fall all over them. If called out on it, they act like it was nothing. He doesn’t sound sophisticated enough to be smooth and enticing to women! Look at NYC mayoral race! Sex is a plus!!!! Wives be damned.

    Reply this comment
  3. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 16 July, 2013, 09:51

    Dyspeptic selective memory, as usual.

    Question #1: Did Paula Jones win her lawsuit? Charging someone with something is NOT proof a crime has been committed. Just ask George Zimmerman.

    Question #2: Ever hear of Mark Sanford? He committed “consensual” adultery also. He just got elected to Congress in South Carolina.

    Question #3: Ever hear of David Vitter? He was caught in the Beltway Madam sting in 2007. Today, he’s a reelected U.S. Senator.

    I could list more, of course. But if Dyspeptic wants you to think that only the “Pro-Bots” have sexual dalliances, he is delusional. Besides, the Reeps that proclaim their support of “family values” on the one hand and are adulterers or closet homosexuals on the other are far bigger hypocrites than the Eliot Spitzers and Anthony Weiners.

    Reply this comment
  4. Hondo
    Hondo 16 July, 2013, 14:50

    It’s still all about the money. How much it takes to make him go away.

    Reply this comment
  5. Lou
    Lou 17 July, 2013, 13:57

    Time for Bobby to quit,and save the a ton of money from suits,and the cost of a recall election.We are the sixth (6th) largest city in the nation with a mayor who’s appetite is that of a sexual predator !!You know you’re in trouble when your best political allies are telling you to “hit the road !”

    Reply this comment
  6. Phil
    Phil 19 July, 2013, 17:18

    A woman would have to be blindfolded to flirt with Filner.

    Reply this comment
  7. Roya
    Roya 20 July, 2013, 16:51

    Mr. Filner has not been officially charged with anything so far, nor do the numerous rumors mention adultery. The analogy with President Cinton is weak.

    Reply this comment

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