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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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