'Cause You Forgot About Bill

Democratic candidates should not be frontin'

What? Say what?

The president did what?

Oh man, hey, that’s all good, baby.

In these opening lines to the 1998 song “Playas’ Holiday,” rapper Too Short appears to be giving props to President Bill Clinton for his extra-marital escapades, which had dominated the news that year. But the true nature of Short’s tribute is revealed in the lines that follow:

He got rid of the player haters too?

Ah man, we need to declare this a national holiday.


We gon’ call this “Playas’ Holiday.”

Clearly the “player haters” alluded to are former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his fellow Congressional Republicans. Short is lauding the president for having deftly defused the 1998 Republican impeachment attempt, thereby precipitating the resignation of hater-in-chief Gingrich. It is this Clintonian political prowess that prompts Too Short’s call for a “national holiday” and his suggestion that its title should indicate a commemoration of the nation’s “players.”

After two lost elections in a row, the question on every Democrat’s mind now is: Where are we going to find another badass like Bill Clinton?

But Clinton was not only known for his superhuman abilities to charm the nation’s voters. The other defining feature of the Clinton years, the Democratic Party’s turn to the right, is captured in the Geto Boys’ song, “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta,” released shortly after Clinton’s election in 1992.

In a verse that begins “And now, a word from the president,” the Geto Boys sardonically imagine Clinton rapping:

To all you Republicans that helped me win,

I’d sincerely like to thank ya’.

Cause now I got the world swingin’ from my n--s.

Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.

A lot of Democratic politicians seem to think the world will be swinging in such a manner for them if they just court Republican voters with Clintonesque centrism. But was it really his centrism that made Clinton the smoothest player in Washington?