Ken Starr Tactics

Barack Obama’s campaign wants Bill and Hillary Clinton to release their tax returns. The Clinton campaign responds by denouncing “Ken Starr” tactics. But this is the point, isn’t it? Clinton’s people want to say we need a “vetted” candidate, so we need a vetted candidate. It’s not as if the Republicans have forgotten Ken Starr tactics, nor is it as if examining potential financial conflicts of interest is some kind of outlandish new development in dirty politics. I personally am a bit less interested in their tax returns than in seeing some financial disclosure around the Clinton Foundation (would it be so terrible to have a president who’s not taking money from the government of Qatar?).

UPDATE: Ah, memories:

Eight years ago, when Hillary parachuted into NY to become our Senator, she and Howard Wolfson became completely obsessed with opponent Rick Lazio’s tax returns, which he did not release until the end of August.They talked about them at every opportunity. In early July, Hillary called it “frankly disturbing.” A guy in an Uncle Sam outfit was dispatched to be a nuisance at various Lazio events in August. Howard himself showed up once to try to rattle Lazio by offering him a copy of some Chappaqua property tax receipt after Lazio said he’d release his state returns as soon as Hillary released hers (which didn’t exist, because she had just moved up here).

Ken Starr tactics!