Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Don’t stop thinking about yesterday

Matt Bai tenderly explores the role of Bill Clinton and his presidency in the Democratic nominating battle. Clinton isn’t quite to Democrats what Ronald Reagan is to Republicans, which poses an immense problem for his wife. She suffers from the part of his legacy Democratic activists don’t like (however advantageous embracing it might be in a general election). And she can’t evoke his "positives" without also calling upon us to compare (unfavorably) her political "strengths" to his.

While Democrats and Republicans surely disagree about the ways in which 2008 differs from 1992, there’s no doubt but that a campaign that depends too much on reminding us of what was has a problem.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Yes . . . while Reagan could infuse meaning into a phrase like, "It's morning again in America" and make it connect with people (in such a way that even his political enemies are now obliged to recall him fondly), remembering Bill Clinton's ability to connect with people is something even his friends do with a mixture of admiration and embarrassment (as an old man may both admire and cringe as he watches an impulsive youth amble through life). And Hillary is an ever-present reminder of why we are more right to cringe . . . his indiscretions were a metaphor for his presidency and his insincere connections with the people. Hillary got the brunt of it then and she will again . . . the long suffering wife (such as she is . . . and it is significant that when she plays this role with vigor it helps her).

If remembering Reagan reminds us to consider that we can always make it "morning again in America" remembering Clinton conjures up a not always pleasant recollection of "About Last Night . . ."

Frankly, while it may be unfair to paint them all with a broad brush, I really don't want to see anymore people with the name Clinton or Bush elected. It's time to move on.

I agree with MichiganReader...Hillary could have the most amazing ideas in the world and I still wouldn't vote for her because we need TRUE change in America. It's time for the Clinton's and the Bush's to move on and let a new group run America.

I think the Clintons were endearing to the left only as long as there wasn't someone better. In the 1990s there wasn't anyone better. Now in 2008 it appears many may thing Obama is that "someone better." The Clintons may (time will tell) be old news.

In their heart-of-hearts liberals are opportunists.

Heh -- good one, Julie!

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