Obama’s Big Gamble on Bill Clinton
August 8, 2012
The announcement that former President Bill Clinton had been personally asked by President Obama to place his name in nomination at the Democratic Convention struck me as potentially a major mistake.
Bill Clinton is one of the most effective and aggressive speakers in the Democratic Party.
His attacks on Republicans will be witty, memorable, and effective for the moment.
The problem for Democrats is that while those who listen to Clinton’s speech and cheer him will be excited, those who think about Clinton and Obama in the same thought will begin to realize how bad Obama really has been as President.
Republicans should take every opportunity to drive home the amazing contrast between Clinton’s bipartisan achievements working with a Republican Congress and Obama’s absolute inability to work across the aisle.
I am aware of the vast difference because I spent two years opposing the Clinton Presidency as the House Republican whip and four years negotiating with President Clinton as speaker.
The gaps in approach, style and achievement between Obama and Clinton are immense and all to Obama’s discredit.
Bill Clinton announced in a State of the Union that “the era of big government is over.” President Obama has been working for four years to build even bigger government.
Bill Clinton worked with a Republican Congress and Republican Governors to pass welfare reform. Clinton had campaigned on “ending welfare as we know it.” Obama in one partisan step ordered his administration to destroy the work requirements and return to the dependency-fostering, taxpayer crushing, work avoiding welfare system of the past.
Bill Clinton as Governor of Arkansas had learned the executive has to negotiate and work with the legislative branch. Two and a half years of bipartisan struggle led to the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. For the next four years there were balanced budgets and $405 billion in federal debt as paid off. Obama refuses to compromise and cooperate with the legislative branch and has run up the largest deficits in American history.
Compare their concrete achievements.
There is a 23,100,000 job gap between the economic growth of Clinton and a Republican Congress and the job destructive, class warfare policies of Obama’s partisan radicalism.
With Clinton and a Republican Congress unemployment fell from 7.3 percent to 4.2 percent. Under Obama unemployment has been stuck at 8.2 percent (now moving up to 8.3percent this month). Obama has the worst job collapse in 75 years. Obama has had over 8 percent unemployment for 41 straight months. In fact under Obama unemployment went up from 7.8 percent to today’s 8.3 percent.
President Obama’s $5.2 trillion in deficits is a sharp contrast to Clinton’s balanced budgets.
During the bipartisan period from 1995 to 1999, debt held by the public as a percentage of GDP dropped 23 percent. Under Obama, it rose from 40.5 percent in 2008 to an estimated 74 percent in 2012—an increase of more than 83 percent. And under President Obama, gross federal debt passed 100 percent of GDP for the first time since 1947.
When I was sworn in as speaker in January 1995, the Congressional Budget Office projected cumulative federal budget deficits of $2.7 trillion over the next decade. After four years of bipartisan rule, in 1999, the CBO projected a $2.3 trillion surplus – a turnaround of $5 trillion. Under Obama, the CBO this year estimated a ten-year cumulative deficit of $2.9 trillion.
The President’s jobs failure has left 46 million Americans in poverty, the largest number in history.
Clinton’s bipartisan cooperation on welfare reform and balanced budgets reduced the number of children in welfare by 25 percent and reduced the number of Americans in poverty by 17 percent.
Under Obama median household income has declined by $4300 while under Clinton it increased by $6200.
When you look at fact after fact about how much better Bill Clinton was than Barack Obama in clear, objective economic and governmental achievements, it will cause voters to spend Clinton’s entire nominating speech considering the question, “Why is Obama such a failure?”
That is the high risk inherent in Obama asking Clinton to nominate him.