They are Calling Out for Bill Clinton’s Magic

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bill_clinton t.jpegLast night, I got to talk to and briefly hang with former President of the United States Bill Clinton (along with 400 other folks) who temporarily paused his “rejuvenation tour” for beleaguered Democratic Party friends in Congress and the Senate. Clinton was at DC’s Ritz Carlton to keynote along with former British first lady and Matrix Chambers legal firm legend Cherie Blair, chair and founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, a fundraising gala for a surprisingly successful NGO that works with young children and women in Palestine.
The NGO is the Tomorrow’s Youth Organization — which is incorporated in Virginia but does its most important work in Nablus, Palestine.
Clinton told me that in North Carolina yesterday, they just put out a small, short notice flyer for a rally and 10,000 people showed up — he emphasized again, “10,000 people.” He said people are eager, hungry, to hear what we can do in DC to make Washington about them.
The Washington Post this morning makes a similar point about the crowds hungry for something — and Bill Clinton’s ability to connect with them.
Bill Clinton, like usual, owned the room last night. He met anyone who would meet him, took pictures galore, but his comments — which I hope to post later — were the kind of thing one used to hear from President Obama but now has doubts about the new President’s ability to deliver.
Clinton though is believed. Gallup has him now listed as the single most popular politician in the United States. As Terry McAuliffe, the master of ceremonies for the TYO Dinner, said — Clinton is probably today the most popular politician globally.
One shouldn’t be surprised given that the Clinton Global Initiative claims to have now raised more than $63 billion for global causes.
I’ll be posting more on Bill Clinton and the themes of last night’s dinner later — but I wanted to pay quick tribute to Clinton for taking the time he did to directly address the paralyzed mess in Israel-Palestine relations and for his comments about women empowerment.
His most poignant comments came as he reflected on various of the many men who have received the Nobel Peace Prize — noting that a couple of women had as well — but went on to see that these men had mostly been able to rise above themselves, their own biases and world views and to reach out in more selfless ways in the hope of achieving balance, peace, and better order of things. Clinton said women all over the world did that every day to hold things together in their worlds.
I hope I can get a tape of his comments up later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

17 comments on “They are Calling Out for Bill Clinton’s Magic

  1. Vi Stephens says:

    Bill Clinton set so many records!
    – The only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance
    – Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates*
    – Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation
    – Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify
    – Most number of witnesses to die suddenly
    – First president sued for sexual harassment.
    – Second president accused of rape**
    – First first lady to come under criminal investigation
    – Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case
    – First president to establish a legal defense fund.
    – First president to be held in contempt of court
    – Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions
    – Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad
    – First president disbarred from the US Supreme Court and a state court

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  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Bill Clinton is a proven liar, willing to lie about so many things I think it is highly likely he is incapable to telling a single truth”
    And you can name an honest politician, right or left?? Kucinich comes to mind, if only because his “convictions” don’t seem to waver with the political winds.
    But really, what did Clinton lie about, except an illicit sexual liason? Would you rather trust the kind of liar this pathetic monkey George Bush was, whose bullshit has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, trillons of dollars, and the respect of the global community???
    Yes, I have no doubt that Clinton lied about much more. Its what these pieces of shit do. But Bush should hang for his lies. Clinton’s lies pale in comparison.

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  3. Warren Metzler says:

    Bill Clinton is a proven liar, willing to lie about so many things I think it is highly likely he is incapable to telling a single truth. That he is a “respected” politician is fairly close to sine qua non proof that most Americans have given up all capacity to discern the truth about anything.
    Everything that man tells you is a pipe dream that will NEVER come true. And his wife appears to have a personality and truth tell capacity that is quite close to his.
    How can some many intelligent people believe such a prevaricator truly amazes me.

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  4. nadine says:

    “The Democrats’ problem in the upcoming election is that they have a record. The story line that it’s all George Bush’s fault doesn’t cut the mustard any longer.” (Don Bacon)
    Agreed. It’s a consistent rule in American politics: by the time the midterms roll around, the new President owns the economy and the direction of the country, for good or ill.

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  5. Don Bacon says:

    Speaking untruths doesn’t bestow beneficence. The Democrats’ problem in the upcoming election is that they have a record. The story line that it’s all George Bush’s fault doesn’t cut the mustard any longer.

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  6. Linda says:

    Bill Clinton is the best politician around because he has been saying that the Democrats’ problem in the upcoming election is that they don’t have a clear message.
    And if the 22nd Amendment were repealed, I’d hold my nose and vote for him–just as I did in 1996.

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  7. Cee says:

    Speaking of Iraq
    The Christian Peacemaker Teams were not the first people to show an interest in the topic. The allegations of torture, murder, and abuse these people were investigating in 2005 happened to be the same story investigated by Steve Vincent (New York Time), Yasser Salihee (Knight Ridder) and Fakher Haider (New York Times).
    All three journalists have this in common: That was the last story these journalists covered before they were shot to death in Iraq in 2005.
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/3/13/193689/-Tom-Fox,-death-squadsthe-dogs-of-war

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  8. Don Bacon says:

    Those labels don’t mean much any more, if theu ever did. We do know from polling that nearly two thirds of the citizenry believe that the country is going in the wrong direction, and about the same proportion take the trouble to vote, but on important matters (not social matters) we really don’t have meaningful data.
    Were pretty sure that people aren’t happy with the jobs, health care and housing situations, and that they don’t like a lot of money going to the government for wasteful programs, and long wars aren’t popular. So that’s what they don’t like, but what the best solutions might be is more complicated.
    Bill Clinton is thought of as a liberal but he was hawkish on Iraq– probably killed a million Iraqis or so — and his NAFTA wiped out a lot of jobs while his crime bill absorbed some of the effects of that. He does have a nice personality.
    So these matters hardly lend themselves to easy labeling. Anyhow there are more independents than either R’s or D’s now, for the reasons noted above.

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  9. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, that’s not so surprising, Nadine. Personally, I don’t identify myself as “liberal” either, and so when I get those poll questions I either answer “none of the above”, if that is permitted, or I don’t answer. I wonder how the pollster marks down my answer if they are required to select one of the three.

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  10. nadine says:

    Pew Poll, Dan: 20% liberal, 40% conservative, 40% moderate. That’s how Americans identify themselves politically. That’s your problem in a nutshell.

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  11. WigWag says:

    If the 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution was repealed, Bill Clinton could be reelected in a heart beat.

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  12. WigWag says:

    “The party elders can continue to mock and deride the increasingly large left wing of their party. But unless they figure out how to understand and respond to the left’s intense yearning for fundamental social change, and how to translate that yearning into a broader appeal that makes sense to a majority of Americans, they are going to continue to sputter.” (Dan Kervick)
    Is there actually any evidence that the left wing of the Democratic Party is increasingly large either in absolute terms or as a percentage of all Democrats? Is there any evidence at all that Americans in general are increasingly trending towards the left?
    It seems to me that the opposite is true.

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  13. Carroll says:

    The Left is too left and the Right is too right.
    said little Red Riding Hood.
    I could almost vote for Clinton again. If he could give up politics on foreign policy.

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  14. Dan Kervick says:

    If Clinton can re-invent himself, great. But establishment Democrats, and that includes Obama, have been very slow to appreciate the seismic changes in attitudes that have rocked the country as a result of the multiple shocks of 9/11, the Iraq War and the Great Recession. The 1990’s now feel like they happened 50 years ago, and Obama made a big early mistake in thinking that he could just staff up with a bunch of the old third way New Democrats of WJC’s era, and then steer back to those good old days.
    The party elders can continue to mock and deride the increasingly large left wing of their party. But unless they figure out how to understand and respond to the left’s intense yearning for fundamental social change, and how to translate that yearning into a broader appeal that makes sense to a majority of Americans, they are going to continue to sputter.

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  15. Taylor Marsh says:

    Thanks for this, Steve. We haven’t seen each other much lately, but wanted to stop by when I saw this posted.
    There is still so much denial about FPOTUS Clinton and what he brings to the table that Democrats just don’t have today. It’s just one reason he’s the biggest Democratic ticket in the country today. What CGI has done is simply staggering, the focus on women so important to the stability of countries teetering, which cannot be denied.
    Again, thanks.

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  16. Jim Fox says:

    Reminder: aside from Democrats and a crucial slice of Independents, Clinton wasn’t nearly as popular when he was President. Recent Republican statements in the NY Times about how they “miss” him are comical and should be taken as such.
    In 15 years, Obama will be just as popular as Bill is now. Republicans are fine with nice, likeable charismatic Democrats as long as they don’t have any real power. And I suspect the same is largely true of Democrats liking old, powerless Republicans.

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  17. Don Bacon says:

    The honorific “single most popular politician in the United States” doesn’t mean much at a time when 2/3 of the citizens believe the country is going in the wrong direction, the people are lied to and misled consistently, and the approval of Congress is at twenty-one percent (RCP average).
    So Clinton is sort of a pygmy among dwarfs, but if he feels our pain that also makes him stand out. And if he can combine it with being a stalking horse for his wife (or himself?) so much the better.

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