Tonight, Bill Clinton is the headline attraction at the DNC. He is giving a speech supporting the re-election of President Obama. Former President Clinton is the most popular politician in America today. American’s are more likely to recall the prosperity of the Clinton era than the more seemly aspects of his presidency. Unfortunately for Obama, many viewers, and certainly the Republican commentators, will be comparing the success of the Clinton Presidency to the failures of the Obama administration.
The successes of Clinton and failures of Obama are stark. When Clinton’s leftist agenda ushered in a Republican Congress after his first 2 years in office, he triangulated to the political center. Under similar circumstances, Obama doubled down on his leftist agenda. Clinton found common ground with Newt Gingrich and the Republican congress. In doing so, he presided over one of the most prosperous periods of the 20th century. After the Democrats lost control of congress to Republicans in a landslide after Obama’s first two years, he failed to find common ground with the Republican congress. Consequently, he has presided over the worst economy since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
The policy differences between the former president and Obama are also stark. Clinton is most remembered for “ending welfare as we know it.” He understood the moral hazards inherent in the welfare state and sought to limit the role of government. Obama is in the process of dismantling the Clinton welfare forms by eliminating the work requirement for welfare. He is clearly a proponent of imposing the Western European welfare state model of cradle to grave entitlements on the American people.
While Clinton increased income taxes on all taxpayers, he lowered the capital gains tax. Obama has imposed a number of new taxes on the American people such as the Obamacare taxes and the Medicare taxes. In addition, he would like to impose higher income taxes on only rich Americans and small business owners. The purpose of his tax increase on the rich is not to raise income to balance the budget, but because it thinks it is “the right thing to do.” Clinton espoused no such divisive class warfare.
Under Clinton, the federal government was fiscally responsible and balanced the budget with a surplus. Under Obama, the annual deficit exceeded $1 trillion every year and the total accumulated debt exceeds $5 trillion.
Finally, does the DNC really want to remind voters of Clinton’s lack of respect of women? It is bad enough that he had sex with a 21 year old intern in the oval office. He continues to be seen around the world with various women. Does he not respect his marriage vows? At least he could be discrete about his infidelities. Why do Hillary and Democratic women tolerate this man?
Will the Clinton’s speech provide red meat for Obama’s critics or will his halo convince the uncommitted voters?