Skip to main content

View Diary: Clinton Presidential Library provides contrast to Obama's transformative Presidency (55 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Yet Bill is our greatest politician (0+ / 0-)

    Much of the world is madly in love with Bill Clinton, even if DAILY KOS is not.  I believe he is light years greater than ever possibly could be President Obama, whatever the current President's own fine attributes and accomplishments.  And I believe, as do millions more besides, that the Clinton Era was the last Golden Era, of sustained peace and prosperity, of balanced budgets, and a Golden Surplus, such as America may never realize again.

    His administrations were brimming with accomplishments, great and small.  The Clinton budget, passed without a GOP vote, was what fueled and sustained the years of the prosperity--not, as the New Gingrich acolytes would have you believe, his "trickle-down Reagan economic nonsense worshipping Congress."

    Bill was dramatically an instrument by which the Irish Peace Accords were achieved and was a peerless presence toward peace in the Middle East and the broader world stage, throughout his administrations.  The Kosovo mission was achieved expeditiously, and without any loss of an American soldier.  There were no protracted wars in his terms--the number of military casualties was extremely few, by any measure.

    Until Bill Clinton, gay men and women were proscribed, if not merely afterthoughts in Presidential administrations.  Clinton did what he could, and although DADT and the DOMA were barriers to true emancipation, they were then necessary roadblocks to a nation that still largely believed very much in relegating gay persons to second class status.  Remember that Lincoln himself was not an Abolitionist--his views toward Emancipation evolved more progressively--as did the nation itself--later in his administration.   And President Obama was not in 2008 the gay-friendly President he became in 2012.

    Hillary systematically and valiantly attempted to reform the nation's health care program and make it universal--but the hits she took were also very much directed at Bill, who had given The First Lady that unprecedented power.

    The Brady Law and Assault Weapons Ban were achieved because of the brilliance of Bill in circumnavigating inveterate gun-worshipping Red State opposition.  As Bill has brilliantly proved time and again, he can seduce as can no other politician, perhaps in the whole of the last century.  We now are looking at the prospect that there will be no assault weapons ban at all--perhaps only a very limpid stress of a background check--not one embedded in the law.  And that can hardly be considered a Presidential achievement.

    More than a decade since their inception, Clinton's Global Initiative and his CGI Conferences and attending Foundation, have done more to ameliorate the lot of the disappropriated and disadvantaged throughout the planet than have the combined efforts of The United Nations and The Nobel Peace Foundation combined.  This is the model for such philanthropies--surpassing the noble efforts of those who blazed a trail before.  This was acknowledged as such by President Obama himself in the video introducing Bill Clinton before Clinton's formal renomination of the President before the DNC on September 5, 2012.

    And that day will be forever remembered as one in which a former President for the first time formally nominated an existing one, in an absolutely glorious, near universally wildly acclaimed address.  That Clinton speech will endure for the ages, as easily the best ever rendered before a major party convention (and yes, I include the famous "purple states" address of then Senator Obama formally nominating John Kerry, the Ted Kennedy concession speech of 1980; the Reagan "morning in America" address; the cogent eulogy of Robert F. Kennedy for his slain brother in 1964).  Indeed, one can precisely follow all such national convention addresses by way of C-Span going back to the 1930s--and still, there is neither precedent nor parallel for what Bill Clinton accomplished last year.

    I recollect witnessing the address with the most impassioned of both Obama and Romney supporters--and none could find fault with it.  As GOP strategist Steve Schmidt commented, "no politician of this generation can speak for three quarters of an hour like that," while another GOP strategist Alex Castellanos noted "This will be the speech that re-elected Barack Obama."  And that, it certainly was.  Because although an extraordinary speaker at certain times, President Obama's acceptance speech was simply nowhere near as effective.

    Punctuating the extraordinary riffs of the address--it was a work of oratorical art by a genuine genius at extemporizing--Bill tirelessly worked the campaign trial on behalf of "My President" (not least of Bill's staggering political talents is knowing precisely when to utilize the personal pronoun)--with a fever pitch intensity, leaving an amazing number of memorable aphorisms that will be quoted in decades to come.  President Obama's campaign staff more than readily admits that former President Clinton's role was instrumental, indeed seminal.  Many of us would go further than that--Bill's matchless address and equally matchless campaigning, made all the difference.

    Surviving impeachment and all manner of accusations and calumny, hated with equal ferocity by Right and Left, Bill Clinton remains a political star of the highest magnitude.  He has lulled his former foes (former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, both Presidents Bush and candidate Mitt Romney are simply a few who now praise Clinton's supreme political skills and acumen).  He has conquered Hollywood in a manner that a former product of Hollywood, Ronald Reagan, could only dream (witness the adulation heaped upon him at his recent surprise visit to the Golden Globes ceremony).  

    And he is an invigorating, much cherished presence whatever the setting anywhere he travels.  At the recent Democratic Congressional Retreat, he was greeted with even more enthusiasm than Obama, with thunderous applause and the cries of "We miss you Bill!"  In introducing him to the crowd, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer recounted that the younger George Bush noted that were Bill Clinton on the Titanic in 1912, it would have been the iceberg that would have sunk.  For Bill Clinton is, if nothing else the true political survivor--the "Comeback Kid" in every sense of the phrase.

    Many of my fellow Clintonites share a common dream, which is to witness Bill Clinton alone on a stage, with just his wits and his overwhelming political skills--taking on any and all comers, Right and Left, one after the other.  The so-called progressive blogosphere truly believes that President Obama has achieved more?   Very well then: challenge Bill.  Take him on in a debate--have the courage to combat the man himself rather than by way of some disembodied sideways analysis.  Be prepared to stand up on a stage with him, make any and all accusations.  And take all the time in the world to ready yourselves.

    Chances are, as much of the world already knows, you are going to fail.  Bill cajoles and retorts, spars and challenges, and expresses himself in ways that are unfathomable to the mere mortals of the political world.  For in politics, here and across the globe, nobody betters the most seductive politician of this or any other lifetime.  For in politics, there is Bill Clinton, and there is, alas, everybody else.

    •  Bill? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I didn't know you were here on dKos.

      I like Bill, but man, I hope you are getting paid as his PR agent.

      I do like the idea of Clinton and Obama debating, though I am not sure what pressing issues they would disagree about. I think they are both great politicians in the purest sense.

    •  I love Bill (0+ / 0-)

      and would love for you to rewrite your post as a diary.

      but I don't think it's necessary or a good idea to compare Bill Clinton with President Obama. They are serving during different times in different political climates. I don't know if Bill could have accomplished as much with this current tea party ruled republican congress.

      Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

      by JamieG from Md on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:05:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  During the Clinton years... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was convinced Bill Clinton would be the best president of my lifetime.

      And then Barack Obama came along.

      The four happiest, proudest votes of my life were the two I cast for Clinton and the two I cast for Obama.

      On their election nights, the hugs, tears, and champagne all flowed freely at my home.

      That said, I genuinely believe Obama has accomplished more than Clinton did.

      This doesn't detract from Clinton's accomplishments.

      I also think Obama is a savvier politician than Clinton is, though Clinton is the outwardly better "politician."

      And I do agree with you that Clinton would win a debate against Obama, because with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, I don't think there's an American, living or dead, who could win a debate against Clinton.

      One more small quibble with what you said, and, again, it's a matter of opinion: Yes, Clinton's speech at last year's DNC was mesmerizing, captivating, and made me want to give him a standing ovation. And sure, the other speeches you mentioned all were great.

      But the best speech I've ever heard in my life -- at a convention or otherwise -- was Mario Cuomo's 1984 DNC keynote address.

      If you're not familiar with it, track it down and give it a watch. It's a thing of beauty.

      How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

      by BenderRodriguez on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:21:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site