Question of the day: Can Bill Clinton regain the love?

From all across the blogosphere the same judgment is coming in: Bill Clinton, to borrow Josh Marshall’s metaphor, has finally jumped the shark by dismissing the importance of Obama’s crushing victory over Hillary in South Carolina, because, after all, Jesse Jackson carried the state also. 

A small splattering of this massively negative response (not all of it from Hillary opponents) includes, in addition to Josh Marshall, the previously pro-Hillary Kevin Drum, John from AMERICAblog, Glenn Greenwald and BuzzFlash.

Almost certainly, Bill Clinton will remain popular with a majority of Democrats, but his reputation within the party, especially among liberals, has taken a significant hit.

I think it’s safe to say that the long lasting love affair between Bill Clinton and liberal Democrats has significantly cooled. Can it be reignited? While no one should ever count out the comeback kid, I think it’s going to be difficult. Even before the current controversy blew up, the Clinton years were starting to lose a little of their luster among informed Democrats.

At the end of the day, Clinton, who came into office with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, left office with the Republicans in complete control of the federal government. This in turn ushered in years of radical right wing governance. The sad truth is Clinton, for all his gifts, left no political legacy at all, other, perhaps, than for his own wife trying to take his place.

When you look at it that way, it’s a little hard to feel all that nostalgic about his administration.

Still, no one should forget that this is Bill Clinton we’re talking about, the greatest politician of his generation. If anybody can do it, he can.

So, what do you think? Is there anything Bill Clinton can do to regain the love?

17 Responses to “Question of the day: Can Bill Clinton regain the love?”

  1. Chuck Says:


  2. cd348 Says:

    Bill Clinton continues to disappoint me. While he was president he did not behave like a Democrat. He was only lukewarm to core Democratic values and goals. To make matters even worse, although he was a Rhodes Scholar he was stupid enough to step into the obivous Monica trap.

  3. saoirse Says:

    I strongly support Hillary Clinton for President. She speaks to the issues I care most about. The economy, health care, education and getting out of Iraq. Has the former President been less than judicious in some of his remarks? Yes. Have Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards been less than judicious in some of their remarks? Yes. Let’s stop doing exactly what the Republicans want us to do, fight among ourselves, and keep our eye on the prize. The first woman President of the United States who is more than capable and ready for the job. A Karl Rove nightmare and he is welcome to it.

  4. globie Says:

    If Bill Clinton apologized for his excessive rhetoric and then backed off for the rest of the campaign, I think his former supporters, including me, would eventually forgive and hold him in some of his former esteem.
    I loved him as president and former president and defended him even in his lowest moments. Now, however, I see what his critics have talked about. I see a power hungriness completely separate from a desire to serve. I see calculated duplicity, distortion, and dishonesty to advance his personal power agenda. Worst of all, I see a willingness to stomp all over hope — the chance to draw a whole new generation into participatory democracy and restore faith of formerly turned-off Boomers like myself.

  5. joyce1 Says:

    Shame on all of you, helping the repubs attack the Clintons. I thought dems were more intelligent than that. The mainstream media is anti-Clinton and doing what they can to destroy them. They tried in the nineties without success and I hope they won’t succeed this time either. Remember how the press were pro-Bush and though he lost the election he was court-appointed. Is your country in better shape now than it was seven years ago? Didn’t you love the nineties…….peace……jobs……and a surplus? Choose Obama, great talker though I can’t stand his preaching style, and you will have another Bush in the oval office. Bush……no experience = Obama. Both the media and Clinton bashers are the racists…….not Bill and Hillary. Again Shame on you all.

  6. clarence swinney Says:

    His accomplishments cannot be erased.
    He has not lied about Obama. Democrats are following Rove Goebbels .
    GDP–rose from 6,300 to 11,600
    NATIONAL INCOME-5,000 to 8,000 Billion–
    JOBS CREATED—237,000 per month to replace Jimmy Carter record of 218,000.
    AVERAGE WEEKLY HOURS WORKED–never hit 35.0–hit that mark 4 times in 80’s
    UNEMPLOYMENT–from 7.2% down down down to as low as 3.9%
    MINIMUM WAGE–$4.25 to $5.15
    MINORITIES–did exceedingly well
    HOME OWNERSHIP–hit all time high (no big deal most can say this-except Reagan)
    DEFICIT–290 Billion to whoopee a SURPLUS
    DEBT—-+28%—300% increase over prior 12 years by Conservatives.
    FEDERAL SPENDING–+28%—+80% under Reagan- who is da true conservative?
    DOW JONES AVERAGE—3,500 to 11,720 top in 2000. All it’s history to get to 3500 and Clinton zooms it
    NASDAQ–700 to 5,000 top in 2000.—All of it’s history to get to 700 and Clinton zooms it
    VALUES INDEXES– almost all bad went down–good went up in zoom zoom zoom
    FOREIGN AFFAIRS–Peace on Earth good will toward each other—Mark of a true Christian–what has Bush done to Peace on Earth?
    POPULARITY—highest poll ratings in history during peacetime in AFRICA, ASIA AND EUROPE . Even 98.5% in Moscow–left office with Highest Gallup rating since it was started in 1920’s.
    STAND UP FOR JUSTICE–evil conservatives spent $110,000,000 on hearings and investigations and caught one very evil man who took a few plane rides to events.
    BOW YOUR HEADS—“Thank you God for sending us a man of Bill Clinton’s character, intelligence, knowledge of governance, ability to face up to crises without whimpering and a great leader of the world. Amen”.
    clarence swinney-political historian-Lifeaholics of America- burlington nc


  7. clarence swinney Says:

    Comparing Democrat’s hero-CLINTON—versus Republican’s hero–REAGAN

    1.JOBS—grew by 43% more under Clinton.
    2.GDP—grew by 57% more under Clinton.
    3.DOW—grew by 700% more under Clinton..
    4.NASDAQ-grew by 18 times as much under Clinton.
    4.SPENDING–grew by 28% under Clinton—80% under Reagan.
    5.DEBT—grew by 43% under Clinton—187% under Reagan.
    6. DEFICITS—Clinton got a large surplus–grew by 112% under Reagan.
    7.NATIONAL INCOME—grew by100% more under Clinton.
    8.PERSONAL INCOME—Grew by 110% more under Clinton.
    SOURCES—Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.BLS.Gov)–Economic Policy Institute (—Global & World Almanacs from 1980 to 2003 (annual issues) (chart taken from NY Times)
    National Archives History on Presidents.
    LA Times 10-11-00 on Market–www.Find

    A vote for a Republican is a vote for Less Success.
    A vote to reduce the Standard of Living for all Americans.

  8. clarence swinney Says:

    Just for the record, under Richard Clarke’s leadership as Czar of Counterterrorism:.
    · CLINTON developed the nation’s first anti-terrorism policy, and appointed first national coordinator of anti-terrorist efforts.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold the Al Qaeda millennium hijacking and bombing plots.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to kill the Pope.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up Boston airport.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge.
    · Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up the US Embassy in Albania.
    · Bill Clinton tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.).
    · Bill Clinton brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice.
    · Bill Clinton did not blame the Bush I administration for first World Trade Center bombing even though it occurred 38 days after Bush left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively — and successfully — to stop future terrorist attacks.
    · Bill Clinton named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism.
    · Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to tighten airport security. (Remember, this is before 911) The legislation was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the airlines.
    · Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to allow for better tracking of terrorist funding. It was defeated by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests.
    · Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for better tracking of explosives used by terrorists. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.
    · Bill Clinton increased the military budget by an average of 14 per cent, reversing the trend under Bush I.
    · Bill Clinton tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism.
    · Bill Clinton detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries.
    · Bill Clinton created national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.
    · Of Clinton’s efforts says Robert Oakley, Reagan Ambassador for Counterterrorism: “Overall, I give them very high marks” and “The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama”.
    · Paul Bremer, current Civilian Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley as he believed the Bill Clinton Administration had “correctly focused on bin Laden.
    · Barton Gellman in the Washington Post put it best, “By any measure available, Bill Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him” and was the “first administration to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort”.

  9. clarence swinney Says:

    GREATNESS gets Praise
    Good Comments on Bill Clinton

    1.Billy Graham at Oklahoma City-“His quick mind and warm personality impressed me immediately. Seldom have I seen anyone express, so movingly and sincerely, a genuine sense of compassion and sympathy to those who were hurting.

    I felt that he, not I, was the real pastor that day.

    We spent much of the afternoon talking about the Bible and what it days about God’s plan for our lives. It was a time of warm fellowship with man who has not always won approval from his fellow Christians but who has in his heart “a desire to serve God”.

    2. James McDougal On Larry King—“Bill Clinton’s charisma and caring for others is real. He has always been that way.”

    3. Hillary Clinton—“He is the most optimistic and gregarious person I have ever known or heard about. He likes people, all people, with no pettiness or preferences.”

    4. John Brummitt—Author of ”High Wire” and Editor of Republican Arkansas Democrat Gazette—“Bill Clinton is no phony. He truly cares for others. I will repeat it for the umpteenth time that Bill Clinton is no crook. You may disagree with him but he does not hold it against you. He has no interest in financial things.”

    5. David Maraniss-Author of Clinton Biography “First in His Class” and reporter for Washington Post. “Bill Clinton truly likes people and feels their pain .He doesn’t know how to hate. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.”

    6.Jack Nelson—Washington Bureau Chief for Los Angeles Times for decades—“ I have known Bill Clinton since he came to Washington but I know of nothing he has done that impugns his integrity. His integrity is as good as Bob Doles. He has to compromise from his original position to get things done and his critics crucify him for doing what every president must do.” This comment was before Monica.

    7. James Stewart—Author of Bloodsport—“The Clintons commited no crime in their investment in the Whitewater land purchase.”

    8. Pillsbury-Madison Soutra Report—Paid 3.4 million by RTC to investigate Madison Guaranty S&L. Their final report-“We found no culpability on the part of the Clintons or the Rose Law Firm.”

    9. James McDougal-President of the Whitewater Development Corporation—“There was no crime committed in the purchase and selling of Whitewater property.”

    10. Robert Novak—“I think Bill Clinton is terrific.”

    11. Newt Gingrich—“Bill Clinton charms me. It takes me days of detoxification after a meeting with him.”

    12. D’Amato—Chair of Senate Hearings on Whitewater—There was no crime. Many allegations, insinuations and smears but no crime.

    13. Clarence W. Swinney-Producer of ”Lifeaholics-Work For A Life Not Just A living”-
    President Bill Clinton is one of our all time great presidents. He is no whiner like President Bush. He is intelligent unlike President Reagan. He fights like a pit bull for his programs unlike President Truman. His record of success on his basic programs is phenomenal. The right wing National Review wrote “President Clinton absolutely ate the cake of the Republican Congress in 1997”.

    14. Sarah McClendon—Author of “Mr. President, Mr. President”—I think Bill Clinton may go down in history as one of our really great presidents. Bill Clinton’s allure comes from the unmistakable feeling that he genuinely likes you.

    The presidency has been broadened by Mr. Clinton from his high summitry on war and peace. International trade and foreign policy to include such matters as abuse of women, teen-age pregnancy, youth gangs and even schoool construction. His actions extend a helping hand to those living with the problems in homes, communities and the job world.

    Mr. Clinton has taken on a lot more than he had to. He does not want to be anybody’s enemy and he hates to hear you talk badly about anyone.”

    15. Don Imus-“President Clinton has a great heart. He truly cares.”

    16. Gennifer Flowers—“Bill Clinton would never do what Paula Jones said he did. Bill Clinton has respect for women and is a perfect gentleman at all times around women.”

    17. Susan McDougal—“Bill Clinton was not interested in the Whitewater account. My husband, Jim. Said “everytime I tried to talk business with Bill Clinton his eyes rolled back in his head. He had no interest.”

    18. Ronald K. Anderson—Arkansas State Trooper—“I guarded Governor Clinton for 8 years, night and day, and sometimes seven days in a row and I never saw him do anything wrong. The three of us that guarded him most of the time were paid $80,000 by Richard Smith and were offered a potential $700,000 each by Cliff Jackson to trash Bill Clinton”.

    19. Dick Morris-Clinton adviser for years—“I was with Bill Clinton probably 1,000 days and 10,000 hours and I never saw him express any interest in any woman except Hillary and he would fight you over her.”

    20. Carolyn Yeldell Staley—closest lifetime friend—“Bill sees religion as an important (but intensely personal) part of life. Bill is a Christian and his personal faith has grown and deepened through his adult life. Bill is private about his faith and does not trivialize it by overly publicizing his church attendance. His faith is very personal and real.”

    21. Douglas Eakeley—Fellow Rhodes Scholar at Oxford—“Bill’s potential for leadership was apparent. My first impression was “is this guy for real”. It didn’t take long to find out. He was (and remains) one of the most gregarious persons I have ever met. Bill’s interest in others conveyed a sense of understanding and sympathy that gave him an ability to relate to people of all walks of life.”

    22.Stephen Oxman-Fellow student at Oxford—“I remember how interested he was in talking with people and how much he enjoyed it. He displayed an unusual ability to engage people from many different backgrounds in friendly, substantive conversations.
    I think this skill arises from Bill’s inherent liking for people. He finds in others a great source of life’s richness and potential, and he gives of himself so that others find this in him as well.”

    23. Douglas Eakeley—fellow student at Oxford—“His anguished decision to give up his draft deferment and subject himself to the draft reflects a combination of courage, integrity and a sense of calling that is so typical of Bill Clinton.”

    24. Don Pogue—Fellow student at Oxford—“Bill’s warmth for people always seemed to help him maintain a balance in difficult times. My amazement at how well Bill maintained a balance during the war events. He talked with people. He listened. He read and he seemed to be reading a new book each week. He seemed to have a reserve of decency towards everybody he met that just kept him going.”

    25. Congressman Thomas Allen—Classmate at Oxford—“When I was with Presdient Clinton at Oxford he had greatness written all over him. His character, personality and leadership were obvious. You never felt he was patronizing or trying to gain something personal. He was impressive as a person who wanted desperately to do good for all. He has been that same person all these years.”

    26. Britt Hume—“Bill Clinton is the most charming man I have ever met. You cannot be around him and not like him. He makes Reagan look dull.”

    27. Nelson Mandela—“President Clinton is one of the most decent men I have come across and he has got a thick skin and strong nerves.”

    28. David Gergen-Reporter—“ Ass someone who has worked with and known the man for more than a dozen years, I believe that in a crisis Bill Clinton steps up to the challenge. He can certainly do the damnest things but down deep he has a good heart and tries very hard to serve a higher good.”

    29. Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson—long time opponent of Clinton—“when my family came to Washington in 1996, the Clintons invited my family for a tour of the White House. It was a great treat for mom. I will never forget the time Governor Clinton stayed at a town meeting until 1 a.m. discussing environmental problems in the small town of El Dorado. It just impressed me. His interest and commitment. I was also impressed when, in 1992, he ignored the advice of professional politicians and kept his campaign and transition team in Little Rock. His roots in Arkansas have always been very important to him.”

    30. Prime Minister Netanyahu—“President Clinton is a warrior for peace. He never stops. He never quits. He has boundless optimism. I mean he does not stop. He has this ability to maintain a tireless pace and to nudge and prod and suggest.”
    31. Sept 2007-Human Rights Specialist highly respected UN Secretary-General’s deputy special envoy for tsunami recovery said this on Clinton-“I have never seen a leader with his combination of skills—to empathize, to inspire, to convene, and to chart an effective way forward. Perhaps no one beyond the affected communities themselves is in a better position to evaluate the scale of Clinton’s contribution—in conception, special values, and executive ability. For President Clinton, equity in the process of (tsunami) recovery was critical-it was absolutely essential that money being sent to the region be used to improve the conditions of the poorest and the most vulnerable.”
    32. Dick Morris-9-5-07 at Women’s National Republican Club—“Bill Clinton is brilliant. His domestic achievements were outstanding. He doesn’t have enemies. He lets criticism roll off his back. He tries to like everybody.”
    33. General Wesley Clark—MSNBC-9-21-07–As Nato Commander I worked with President Clinton and I never saw any man work so hard at his job.”
    clarence swinney
    political historian
    lifeaholics of america-retired
    burlington nc


  10. clarence swinney Says:

    STOP it Democrats

    Bash Bill is a no no
    Praise Bill.

    Newt’s Congress spent according to GAO numbers $110,000,000 on Hearings and Investigations trying to destory the Clinton administration.

    Conservatives spent millions re-inventing Reagan. Reagan does not have numbers putting him as great.

    Clinton numbers destroy Reagan.

    Democrats have done nothing to promote Clinton.

    Yes! He did terrible with ML.

    Hypocrisy. How many in Congress were screwing aides at the time?

    How many married men were getting blow jobs. Polls in past say 60%.

    Democrats let Clinton be attacked.

    Ever hear him Whine?
    Blame others?

    Bill Clinton has more character than most members of Congress or citizens of america.

    Salute Him.

  11. clarence swinney Says:

    Historian Swinney Salutes President Clinton for::
    Educational infrastructure
    Small businesses
    Americans who suffer losses in disasters
    For 22.4 Million new jobs
    For better paying jobs
    For increasing the Minimum wage
    For keeping our servicemen and women out of harms way
    For making America a beacon of hope for other nations
    For having a popularity rating of 98.5% in Moscow.
    For having highest peacetime ratings of any president in Asia-Europe-Africa
    For being an active church attendee all your life.
    For saying-“I will never use my religion for political purposes”.
    For being a devoted and successful father
    For giving us Hillary to serve all Americans.
    For trying to de-politicize politics.
    For not having a mean bone in your body.
    For never being vengeful toward those who try to destroy you
    For your sincere faith in a living God.
    For praying in private meetings with Vice-President Gore and not
    publicizing it.
    For being polite and gracious to all persons you meet.
    For a sincere, caring attitude toward my family.
    For being a worse golfer than I.
    For having, in eight years, only one member of your administration
    convicted of a felony which was committed while working for you.
    For standing tall, without whimpering, to the congressmen who spent $110,000,000 trying to destroy your administration.
    For “working for life not a living” as a true Lifeaholic.

    Just know for certain President Clinton America LOVES you.

    clarence swinney
    political historian
    lifeaholics of america-retired
    burlington nc

  12. clarence swinney Says:

    MY reply to Kathleen Parker on Hillary and Religion–

    Hillary was a Lay Minister in her Methodist Church.
    Hillary has always been a regular attendee at church. Unlike you know who.
    Hillary loves her Bible.
    Hillary has always prayed to God for Guidance. With her family.
    In private as directed by Jesus not on street corners as the hypocrites.
    Hillary cares for the less fortunate as Jesus.
    Hillary loves Peace On Earth not Wars
    Hillary is against killing via executions.
    I disagree with her on Gay marriage and permissive abortions..
    Her husband had it correct and shut out opponents with his–
    Safe-Legal-Rare–Rape-Incest-mom’s life
    Opponents are “mommies killers” let mom die to save itsy bitsy sperm and egg.
    They will eventually want to outlaw Masturbation–Menstrual Period–Wet Dreams.
    They destroy eggs and sperm which prevents life.
    Hillary loves her family. She suffered to keep her marriage intact.
    She stuck by Bill’s adultery due to her strong love for him as a total person not just one bad virtue amongst many good ones.
    She knew her husband was 99% pure .
    Hillary earned $23,000 one year as First Lady of Arkansas when her fellow lawyers made hundreds of thousands.
    She spent a year and visited every school district working to improve schools.
    Hillary is no Smearer.
    Hillary does not Lie(intent to deceive)
    Hillary respects others even when they disagree.
    Hillary invited to the White House one of most evil smearers. Richard Melon Scaife.
    Hillary has a brilliant mind. Not alcohol scorched one.
    Hillary will hire experts in each area to manage our government. Bill did same.
    One of major reason for Clinton’s success was the experts he hired in the government.

    The Moogumboo and Frog Manure will be unreal for the next
    31 months.

    The American Conservative has an article with her pic on front as a witch.

    Republicans are desperate to retain power. Many will go to jail with a Democratic Congress or Justice Department.
    clarence swinney-political historian-lifeaholics of america-retired

  13. karen55b Says:

    i support bill and hillary clinton 100% and think that obama has been playing the race baiting card to win and its shameful because the clintions have been fighting for blacks since they were teenagers and its shameful now they are being unfairly protrayed as racists. this is out of hand and obama should stop the race baiting to win at any cost!

  14. karen55b Says:

    i am saddened that obama would use the race baiting card to win and try to make hillary look like a racist, its shameful and should stop now. i will be voting for hillary who is a good person and is for everyone and will bring this country back together to bring morals back to our nation and around the world where they are loved!!

  15. Again Says:

    what have the Bushits done to you, poor country?

    so much rage and anger, so much frustration and disillusionment

    democracy is based on brothers and sisters, not on Cain and Abel

    i remember other times…

    so sad…

  16. mcartri Says:

    When Bill unzipped in the Oval Office, he essentially gave us 8-yrs. of George W. Bush. His sexual pleasure was more important to him than having Gore elected(Well, he was elected, but it was close enough for the Fascist Five to act in December 2000). While Ted Kennedy’s irresponsible act caused the death of a young lady and his future presidential ambitions, Clinton’s act set the stage for all the evil of these past 7-yrs. I flushed Bill down the political toilet years ago, and will be voting for Obama, Feb. 5.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Clarence: Write a high-school term paper on it.

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