Bill Clinton commands stage at White House
by Ben Feller @ AP
Clinton comfortably outlined how the pending package of tax cuts, business incentives and unemployment benefits would boost the economy — even though it included tax help for the wealthy that Obama had to swallow.
“There’s never a perfect bipartisan bill in the eyes of a partisan,” Clinton said. “But I really believe this will be a significant net-plus for the country.”
When he finished his pitch, Clinton played the role of humble guy, saying, “So, for whatever it’s worth, that’s what I think.”
“It’s worth a lot,” Obama insisted.
Clinton was asked what advice he had for Obama, given the context of the times: the current president has to deal with a Republican Party that just won a convincing victory in the midterm election and will soon grab control of the House. Clinton faced the same halfway through his embattled first term in 1994, worked some major deals with the opposing party and rebounded to re-election.
“I have a general rule,” Clinton said, “which is that whatever he asked me about my advice, and whatever I say should become public only if he decides to make it public.” Obama didn’t provide that permission, saying: “I’ve been keeping the First Lady waiting for about half an hour, so I’m going to take off.”
The current president left it to Gibbs to decide when Clinton’s questioning would be cut off.
I have no words. No words.