Obama’s Pivot-able Moment?

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).

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We’ve been here before. Bill Clinton toyed with the idea of using leftist ideology as a roadmap of governance when he was elected president in 1992. America decisively rejected such a dramatic shift in 1994, embracing the conservative principles that Newt Gingrich so articulately defined in the GOP’s “Contract With America.” From the Democrats’ perspective, the election of 1994 left their party and their causes in smoking ruins. But Bill Clinton, who has never hesitated to embrace a strategy that benefitted Bill Clinton, saw the writing on the wall and swung toward the center will a seemingly effortless ease.

Clinton abandoned “Hillarycare,” embraced welfare reform and – in large part if not in every detail – moved toward the middle in order to reap the benefits of the anti-leftist sentiments that were then sweeping the county. Bill Clinton was and is no ideologue. He did and continues to do whatever is necessary to advance the fame and fortune of Bill Clinton. He remains a hero on the left, even though his record demonstrates that he’s far less committed to the progressive agenda than he is to self-aggrandizement. No matter. With his administration and his progressive goals in deep, deep trouble, Barack Obama turned to Bill Clinton to rescue the current administration during a press conference on Friday. The result was a study in contrasts. The politically savvy ex-President effortlessly assumed the leadership role, fielding questions with typical grace and style, using his disarming public persona to put everyone at ease.

On the other hand, Barack Obama fled the podium soon after Bill Clinton started talking. While Clinton smoothly engaged reporters, the president of the United States escaped to attend a Christmas party that was apparently far more important than the nation’s business. The bottom line seems to be that Barack Obama wants to find a way out of the ideological cul-de-sac that he has driven his nation, but doing so galls him. His conciliatory words following Monday’s Senate vote probably came hard for the President, but had he continued to publicly lash out at conservatives and progressive purists it would have only made him seem even more childishly petulant and bitter. If Obama is to continue moving toward the center, Republican’s will have to keep up the pressure. This deeply narcissistic president won’t like that a bit, but the citizens of the nation he is supposed to be leading will much happier than they are at the moment.

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  • ObamaYoMoma

    They can express all the reservations they want, but any Republicans that make the mistake of supporting this monstrosity is supporting with a wink and nod the good ole boy network and the continued business as usual in Washington DC that has led to our current economic situation. Those RINOs need to be targeted and ousted out of office, as they are in reality stealth progressives that are still infesting what is the leftwing hijacked Republican Party.

    If anyone believes that extending the tax cuts for the job creators for just two years will erase the uncertainty that is needed to spark economic growth, then I have a bridge I need to sell you. If a two-year extension is the best they can do, especially when they are holding all the cards, then they are far too weak and incompetent to be in Congress.

  • davarino

    The repubs need to stop being the nice guys. Why do they need to let the president save face. Start taking these clowns apart. Kick them while they are down and destroy them once and for a couple of voting cycles till they come back like the zombies they are.

  • http://apollospaeks.townhall.com ApolloSpeaks


    Obama using the sick and tired pragmatic centrist Bill Clinton to make his case for maintaining Bush's tax rates for the rich is an admission of failed leadership and ideological exhaustion. Dick Morris is right: Obama's compromise wasn't a Clintonesque triangulation with the GOP "but capitulation and surrender to them." After two failed years as President and the shellacking on Election Day Obama is now a nowhere man: a lost soul in spiritual turmoil and ideological crisis who no longer knows who he is and why he is President. With his dream of "a more perfect union" in a more peaceful world up in smoke, and unable to handle the growing burdens of office, the White House for Obama is becoming a virtual hell house……

    Click my name to continue reading this piece in its entirety

    • Chezwick_Mac

      I don't think Obama is suffering an "ideological crises". He still believes in all the same things. He's just constricted now in his ability to further his agenda. He'll compromise out of necessity, but it won't for a moment imply a change of heart (or of world-view).

  • http://qwest.com Steve Chavez

    MICHELLE can't be kept waiting during such an important issue where a former President was summoned for advice? And Joe thought he was Vice President!

  • USMCSniper

    Whenever I see the Clinton, I think of Ross Perot, who in 1992 said: "I wouldn't hire Bill Clinton as an assistant dishwasher on the third shift in a greasy spoon joint in the worst part of town." but manage to take 23% of the vote (away from Bush) so instead of going back to Arkansas we got 8 years of this pervert creep and his post menopausal hag wife and we got the Somolia cut and run with Osama bin Laden, the phoney Bosnian war, the1993 attacks on the World Trade Center, the 1995 and 1996 bombings in Saudi Arabia, the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, false intelligence on WMDs in Iraq, and the 9/11 terrorism because all the pilot training, planning and setup was done on his watch.

    • http://qwest.com Steve Chavez

      I also wonder "what if" Bush had won. I surely think we wouldn't be in the trouble we are in today if he had won. The world saw action, and a look at U.S. power, during the Gulf War but they also saw resolve and the Big Stick in action! How could you forget Monica? The Clinton's wanted to "Give Peace a Chance" and their inaction when it counted the most, erased all that Bush had built up. The other thing is the Bush's picked seasoned professionals to fill their posts unlike Bill and BHO who picked their close friends who had and have no experience. During their terms, American Communists/Socialists/Liberals infiltrated all levels of government. This "Blame and Hate America" crowd have sympathies will every one of our enemies! This is the real frontlines of every war!

  • http://qwest.com Steve Chavez


  • sebyandrew