Well, there he was again.
Bill Clinton was back at the White House, and somehow he made his way to the briefing room to hold forth for more than a half an hour with reporters, with President Obama beside him for part of the time. I’m sure he “offered” to go out into the briefing room and help make the case for the deal Obama struck with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts, which is what he did.
It won’t have much effect on House Democrats, who don’t care what Clinton thinks. But it did have a galvanizing effect on . . . Bill Clinton.
It’s because he loves it. He LOVES it. He loves the attention, and being in the middle of things.
During his last months at the White House, Clinton would constantly insist he wasn’t that bothered that his presidency was coming to an end, which just added to the impression that he was really bothered that his presidency was about to end.
He gave an interview to everyone except Bridge Players’ Digest. He would appear and take questions until the questions ran out, and we’d be like, “Thank you, Mr. President. Um, thank you, Mr. President.
So here he was, back at the White House, looking older and slower. But he was mostly the same, talking a lot and saying mostly stuff everyone already knew.
There were some familiar Clinton stylisms. For example, he’s insincerely forthcoming about himself.
I want to make full disclosures – you know, I make quite a bit of money now, so the position the Republicans have urged will personally benefit me.
And he’s just insincere.
I’m not running for anything. I don’t have a political agenda.
And here, he’s the wonkish Bill.
I’ll remind you just in the last two years, there have been 30 high-powered battery factories either opened or presently being built America, taking us from two to 20 percent of the worlds’ share of that, and we’re going to probably be at 40 percent by 2014.
He says clever but ultimately trite little things.
There’s never a perfect bipartisan bill in the eyes of the partisans.
Anyway, it’s good to see our needy former president getting what he needs.
I noticed Clinton thanked the Republican leaders for giving President Obama some of the things Obama wanted in the deal. His praise of Republican sounds much more genuine than Obama’s ,and from what I saw of the remarks – I admit I didn’t watch all of it – he doesn’t go into the gratuitous GOP bashing and class warfare rhetoric that Obama lapses into at will.
He didn’t pull nearly as much of that crap as president.
I think this is because, unlike Obama, Clinton had some relevant experience before becoming president, having been governor of Arkansas for more than a decade. He perfected the art of politics and compromise and negotiation, learned that Republicans are real people too, and didn’t just waltz into the presidency with the primitive good vs. evil view of partisan competition held by Obama.
Anyway, here’s Bill’s appearance. Eleven minutes is all Obama could take, at which point he begs off and says – what man hasn’t – that his wife is waiting for him.