Amy Chozick has reported in the New York Times that according to Bill Clinton Barack Obama has had it easier during has time in the White House than he did.
President Obama heads into midterm elections in which he may face crushing losses. He has been spurned by his own party, whose candidates do not even want to be seen with him. The president’s supporters say the toxic atmosphere in Washington has made it impossible for Mr. Obama to succeed.
But there is a counter view being offered by a former Democratic president that as far as personal attacks go, he, Bill Clinton, had it worse. “Nobody’s accused him of murder yet, as far as I know. I mean, it was pretty rough back then,” Mr. Clinton said last month in an interview aired by PBS, when asked about the partisan climate facing Mr. Obama.
Whatever Mr. Clinton’s motivations, his comments, which his former aides frequently refer to when the topic comes up, do not permit Mr. Obama to excuse his legislative setbacks by simply citing hyper-partisanship. As one former White House aide to Mr. Clinton put it: “They impeached our guy.”
Not sure what the former President is really up to here. Is it something to do with his wife standing for President in 2016? Clinton is a smart political operator who knows timing is everything.
Newt Gingrich hasn’t missed a chance to offer his opinion.
Even Mr. Clinton’s old rival, Newt Gingrich, a former Republican speaker of the House, said people had a gauzy view of the Clinton years. “Everyone is doing the, ‘Gee, Newt and Bill got things done, why can’t Obama get anything done?’ routine,” Mr. Gingrich said. “Maybe it’s driving Bill nuts.”
Let’s be clear, Gingrich is being partisan but there may be something in the fact that it is really driving Clinton crazy! As Chozick points out one clear fact is that Clinton despite being impeached he found a way of working with Republicans.
The other side of the argument is that Obama has had to deal with the birth certificate and race element.
Some of the venom directed at Mr. Obama has a racial component that Mr. Clinton, a relatable white Southerner, never had to deal with, said Douglas G. Brinkley, a presidential historian and professor at Rice University. “The Clintons created huge problems of their own making,” Mr. Brinkley added, while “Obama’s problem is that he bullheadedly pushed Obamacare, and he happens to be African-American.”
Some of the racial stuff against Obama from the lunatic fringe has certainly been nasty at times.
Mr. Clinton is not the only president who weathered harsh attacks. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, called former President George W. Bush a “liar” and a “loser,” and protesters depicted him as Hitler.
“Every president probably thinks he had it worse than all his predecessors,” said Kenneth L. Khachigian, a Republican strategist who served as a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. “But,” he added, “those of us in the Nixon years would have gladly traded places with Bill Clinton’s White House.”
The comment about every president thinking he had it worse than everyone else is a good point. Finally I wouldn’t mind betting the GOP in the middle of an election campaign will use Clintons comments in some attack ads. Another excuse for the Republicans not to talk about policy issues?
[UPDATE]: grammatical error corrected, missing word.