By Dick Morris on January 29, 2008

Published in the New York Post on January 29, 2008.

What does Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama really mean?

In addition to seriously boosting Obama’s chances for the Democratic nomination by anointing him as the generational heir to John F. Kennedy, there’s something else that’s just as important for the body politic: Kennedy, Obama and the voters of South Carolina may have tolled the death knell for the Clintons’ reprehensible politics of personal destruction.

It’s about time.

For more than 30 years, no one has been able to stop Bill and Hillary Clinton from routinely acting on their shared base instinct to annihilate anyone who gets in their way, in whatever way it takes, however long it takes, whatever it costs – and then to enjoy watching their targets suffer.

. After successfully employing their slash-and-burn tactics for years, they’ve come to truly believe that their reprehensible politics are justified, even necessary.

Remember Hillary’s glee when she announced that the “fun part” of the campaign was about to begin – her attacks on her fellow Democrats? She was serious.

In Washington, Arkansas and recently in South Carolina, the Clintons have used whatever slimy tactics they felt they needed – ruining reputations, invading the privacy of their targets by dispatching private detectives to comb their records, lying about their opponents, blackmailing and threatening women who dared to say “yes” (or even “no”) to Bill.

Remember how the Clintonites released Linda Tripp’s confidential employment files to Jane Mayer of The New Yorker after Clinton hit man Harold Ickes met with Tripp’s boss? Years later, the Defense Department settled a lawsuit with Tripp for over $600,000 for invading her privacy.

Then there were the stories branding Monica Lewinsky as a “stalker” trying to hurt the president: Those were traced back to Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton White House adviser.

This year, Bill Clinton has been Hillary’s hit man, especially in South Carolina, where he was in charge of branding Obama the “black candidate.” Shamelessly seeking to marginalize the first serious African-American candidate for president, Bill worked overtime at stirring dissension. It’s been revolting.

And it seemed that no one could stop them.

Now the voters of South Carolina and the Kennedys have stepped forward and openly challenged the tawdry Clinton politics of personal destruction, their hit job on Obama, their use of the race card, their claims of dynastic privilege.

On Saturday, 55 percent of South Carolina voters said “no” to the Clintons. After listening to the two of them disparage Obama, distort his record, dis his hopes and dreams for America, South Carolina backed Obama and his politics of hope.

And Kennedy, in his lofty endorsement of Obama, served notice on the Clintons that the days of their politics of personal destruction are over.

Apparently Kennedy called the Clintons last week and demanded an immediate end to their transparent racial politics and attempts to destroy Obama. They ignored him.

Now Kennedy has made it clear that the Democratic Party and the voters of America are no longer going to tolerate and ignore the Clintons sordid personal politics. Bravo!

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