With Tanking Poll Numbers, Obama Reaches Out to Bill Clinton

Sunday, July 18, 2010

With his poll numbers tanking, President Obama is forging a partnership with his once bitter adversary from the 2008 presidential race — former President Bill Clinton, hoping to drag his presidency out of the doldrums and salvage Democratic prospects in a bleak midterm election season.

Mr. Clinton’s time in the White House is linked to an era of economic boom — 24 million new jobs were created under his watch, Mr. Clinton will be dispatched to campaign in key states where Democratic candidates regard Mr. Obama as a political liability.

In the 2008 presidential primary, Clinton was livid over being portrayed by the rival camp as a racist as he campaigned for his wife, Hillary, in her acrimonious battle with Mr. Obama for the Democratic nomination. A senior Democrat who worked for Mr. Clinton has revealed that he told friends Mr. Obama could “kiss my ass” in return for his support.

But two years is twenty years in politics, as President Obama sees his once sky-high popularity ratings slide to new lows. In the latest polling, 43% of American strongly disapprove of his leadership, while only 26% strongly approve, and a mere 13% believe his economic policies had benefitted them.

So it is significant that President Obama named Jack Lew, Mr. Clinton’s budget director at a time when the U.S. was enjoying several years of surpluses, to the same role in his administration. Also, Mr. Obama nominated Elena Kagan, another former Clinton official to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary is expected to vote on her nomination this week.

But the Clinton brand is seen as a mixed blessing by many Democrats. If the former president and his team ride to President Obama’s rescue this autumn, it could set the stage for yet another chapter in the seemingly never-ending Clinton political psycho-drama, providing Jon Stewart, David Letterman and SNL with material for years to come.

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14 Responses to With Tanking Poll Numbers, Obama Reaches Out to Bill Clinton

  1. Gleneagle says:

    Bill and Hillary Clinton are ambitious backstabbers.

    President Obama should handle Bill with kid gloves, show him respect, kiss his ass a little, but keep him at arms length. Bill is said to still harbor anger at his old enemies from the Arkansas days. He never forgets and he never forgives.

    Even Hillary isn’t that petty.

  2. Brigadoon says:

    I truly detest Bill Clinton. He signed the “Defense of Marriage Act” and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” I have zero use for him. Obama should use his expertise on the economy and nothing more. Bill Clinton is a coward in a Brooks Bros. suit.

  3. Woodcliffe says:

    I don’t blame President Obama for the slow recovery because the Bush/Cheney recession was as close to a true depression as you can get.

    The U.S. lost 8 million jobs from 2001 to 2009, and many economists say at least half of those jobs won’t return. This is why Obama keeps pushing for green jobs and new energy jobs.

    If Clinton can help President Obama encourage jobs creation, then I’m all for it.

  4. Estacada says:

    Jobs should be Obama’s Number One priority.

    Not healthcare, not expanding the Afghanistan war, not kissing Netanyahu’s ass, and not courting the GOP. Until there are lots of new jobs, don’t expect the economy to turn around.

  5. Rachel says:

    Good on Obama for bringing in the Big Dog. Clinton wasn’t perfect (interns, DADT, etc. ) but he was very good for the economy. I had graduated from college at the start of his second term and I enjoyed at least a half dozen offers for employment. I don’t think this would happen today. I hope Bill Clinton has grown up and moved beyond the outcome of the ’08 election. At the end of the day, we’re all Democrats and we all love this country and want to see Obama succeed. At least I do.

  6. obama’s numbers are tanking for 2 reasons

    1-most of America is as stupid as the last President – and forget most of the problems are his fault – with brains the size of a gnat and the patience of a flea – america blames whomever is the easiest – not truly who is at fault (who really is at fault is ourselves for letting us get this far into an abyss)

    2- by deserting core elements of the left, progressives and even the democratic party. his continuing talk of working together with people who ONLY want to see him fail – well when you shop at Wal-mart you dont get Tiffany quality. Newt and RUsh know that leading Obama on is a recipe for his failure and it is working like a charm. plus obama has zero spine. zero

    sadly he needs clinton, and that is just another talking point for the right – that obama cant do it without someone else.

  7. Seabec says:

    It’s jobs, stupid. Jobs, jobs, jobs.

    I said it before and I will say it here. President Obama all of his first year on healthcare. Is healthcare an important issue? Of course it is. But healthcare when the national unemployment rate is 10%, is like telling a man with a sliced artery that he needs to lose 20lbs.

    President Obama is a decent man. He’s smart and he’s level-headed. He’s definitely up to the job. But, when you have millions of men and women unable to feed their families and pay their rent and mortgages, healthcare just doesn’t resonate much.

    I want to believe Bill Clinton is on-board to help the president but, we all know the Clintons don’t help anyone but themselves. Obama has yet to learn this.

  8. joost says:

    If Obama keeps his campaign promise to redeploy the troops out of Iraq starting next month, watch the unemployment numbers skyrocket as members of the military scrounge around looking for work with a 9.5% unemployment number.

  9. bradfrmphnx says:

    The issue with health care is plain and simple. If Obama wouldn’t have done what he did with health care it would have spiraled out of control and really sent this country into a depression. It was a necessary evil, and one of the reasons he said that he would rather have one good term than two bad ones.

    Bill Clinton has what Obama does not have and desperately needs…backbone. If Obama had a spine, he very well could have been the next great President. Therefore if he gets some spine by proxy, so be it. Obama must stand up to the right and point out to this country that the GOP has no clothes on…they are naked as a jaybird when it comes to ideas of governance.

  10. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    The main difference between the Clinton era and the Obama era is the size of the debt.

    Clinton and his team had the country on target to be debt-free by 2010. Obama and his team (and yes, Bush started the train) is running a national debt of nearly $14 trillion. Most of it owed to China and Japan. How do you grow the economy and create new jobs with a debt like that?

  11. fran says:

    If anything, Bill owes Obama a debt of gratitude- by virtue of appointing Hillary to the Secretary of State position, he gets her out of the house & the country quite often.
    They are probably BFF’s!

  12. Bill Hussein O'Reilly says:

    The first words out of Bill’s mouth when it met with President Obama were:

    “Where are the broads?”

  13. Jim says:

    This alliance looks and sounds great!!!
    I hope Clinton can work his economic magic once more.

  14. Tim Waters says:

    I don’t think either Clinton or Obama can do a damn thing for he economy. Banks and Business are holding on to their money tightly. Wall street has told Democrats to pound salt because of the way they were portrayed. Dems. currently are trying to play nice as in Financial reform which is nothing but a slap on the wrist.
    Clinton will help with votes because people remember the good times and are desperate for relief.
    Distributor Cap summed up the electorate rather well.
    Go to a meeting of teascrotums, and observe, you’ll go home and have to take a shower……

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