Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Bill and Hillary Switch Positions... Is America Nostalgic for the Clintons’ Era?

Well, John Fund is not so sure. Some remember an era of peace and prosperity when our forces were used only for good and without any casualties to speak of. Others remember a roller coaster of scandals and surprises. Although it probably won’t be reflected in the ensuing thread, my studies show that many people do, in fact, have fond and fuzzy memories of the President Clinton, and he would probably be our next president if the Constitution didn’t keep him from seeking the highest office again. It remains to be seen to what extent Senator Clinton will benefit from this nostalgia. When some ET writes the history of our species on our planet, there might be a chapter trying to explain why the greatest nation in on earth repeatedly elected Bushes and Clintons. If you think about it, John reminds us, these are two very unlikely dynastic families.

Discussions - 4 Comments

You know, to paraphrase a DailyKos ...

Screw the Clintons!

Slick won in '92 with a 43% plurality. He opportunized on the disenchantment with the first Bush. It's easy to see how another Clinton could opportunize on a far greater disenchantment with the second.

The men of the Bush family thought themselves too good to govern as Conservatives. Though they didn't hesitate to seek the votes of those they privately scorned. Both men tried to eke out some place in the middle, a place that transcended the left and the right. Both men scorned the details of politicking and communicating.

If your only rap on the Clinton presidency is the scandals, that's pretty weak sauce. And most of those scandals were investigated extensively by Kenneth Starr, who found so little to them that he was forced to turn to a sad little sex incident just to justify the enterprise. Your beef isn't with Clinton, it's with Richard Mellon-Scaife.

I think there is a fond recollection of Bill Clinton. I think there are lots of variables that work into that equation. A relatively peaceful time, compared to now, and a memory of things that just weren't so anxious back then as now is no doubt part of it. It's a changed world now, of course, and in many people's minds they just wish to go back. They may well acknowledge there is no going back, but that doesn't stop them from wanting to. Bill Clinton represents a kind of smiling, generous "favorite uncle" type of proxy for that time.

I doubt very much that Hillary benefits much from that, though. Her face is not associated positively with that era, his was. Remember, she's had to work on not being so shrill. Her shrillness was her trademark back then. To the extent people think of "back then" and "Hillary," I'm not sure the mixture comes back a positive one. Now, Hillary in the here-and-now is a different equation. And that is the open question right now: has Hillary reinvented herself to be a "woman for this century" rather than "that woman from back then?" The primaries and the general election will tell.

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