Article in New York Tmes talks
about Bill Clinton’s campaigning for Democratic candidates distancing themselves from Barack Obama’s political toxicity. Maybe Obama doesn’t have it so bad, several suggest.

Remember when a Democratic president got impeached and remained under a special prosecutor’s investigation — along with his wife — for most of his presidency?

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The president’s supporters say the toxic atmosphere in Washington has made it impossible for Mr. Obama to succeed.

But there is a counter view being offered by a former Democratic president that as far as personal attacks go, he, Bill Clinton, had it worse. “Nobody’s accused him of murder yet, as far as I know. I mean, it was pretty rough back then,” Mr. Clinton said last month in an interview aired by PBS, when asked about the partisan climate facing Mr. Obama.

Not that Clinton doesn’t decry the current partisan divide.

At frequent campaign stops across the country, the former president does not talk about who had it worse, but instead emphasizes that polarization and an inability to work together are the cause of the country’s problems.

“Every place in the world people take the time to work together, good things are happening,” Mr. Clinton said this week at a campaign stop in Hazard, Ky., for the Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. “Every place in the world where people spend all their time fighting each other and telling everybody how sorry they are, bad things happen.”

Disinterested observers seem to agree that in many ways things really ARE worse. There were material allegations against Clinton (bogus generally). Obama’s imagined sins aren’t so specific, outside policy debates. And, while Clinton would work with Republicans on occasion, Republicans also would work with him. The unified GOP strategy now is to oppose anything Obama supports. And race is ever present.


I see some spin here. It is both an effort to advance the Republican theme that the Clinton years weren’t so great. That hurts Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. And the national press loves to present Bill Clinton in an unflattering light. Here,  though his own words don’t advance the theme very well, you might conclude he’s engaging in self-pity.

I keep hearing, by the way, that Clinton will make one more trip to Arkansas to campaign for his fellow Democrats before Nov. 4.


As for Hillary Clinton: Check this on her outreach to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a popular figure on the left in the Democratic Party.