As I look at the photograph to the left of these words, I wonder which of these men do I respect more. Jimmy Carter represented a beacon of hope and change for my mother. He was a major disappointment, one term stand president.
Ah, Bill….The great centrist. loved you but you broke my heart (giving him Fredo kiss).
This is embarrassing but I cannot remember much about Bush 1.0. The Berlin Wall fell during his presidency. There was the Gulf War. I think he hated broccoli and said “Read my lips..” I saw him as an extension of Ronald Reagan and so did many others and he was not a great leader. 1992 was the last year I would enthusiastically vote for any presidential candidate.
Bush 2.0 was my governor and Obama was at one point my senator. I thought they were both mediocre at those jobs so why vote for them to be my president.
I lost each time.
Each of these men will be remembered no matter how good or bad they were at their jobs. They will each have their own presidential library. Dissertations will be written about them. But some will have more to lose than others.
Today the Wall Street Journal ran this interesting opinion piece on the Obama administration and Bush 2.0 bashing. It would seem then that Bush’s legacy is Texas toast but according to the WSJ article, Bush may be in less danger of legacy trauma than Bill Clinton.
MAY 12, 2009
Obama and the Clinton Legacy
Governors understand the tangible benefits of trade.
Inside the Fourth Estate, the received wisdom holds that the White House is now home to the anti-Bush. And on issues from taxes and stem cells to union elections and Guantanamo, Barack Obama is indeed taking America in a direction different from that of his predecessor.
Still, there’s a persuasive case that the legacy most threatened by the Obama presidency belongs to the last Democrat who sat in the Oval Office: Bill Clinton.
Think about it. It was Mr. Clinton who campaigned on the promise to “end welfare as we know it.” It was Mr. Clinton who signed the bill removing the Glass-Steagall barriers separating commercial from investment banking. Most famously, it was Mr. Clinton who assured us that “the era of Big Government is over.”
Today all the assumptions that once defined Bill Clinton’s “New Democrats” are being contested by the Obama White House. And nowhere is the contrast more stark than on the defining issue of trade.
Is anyone surprised? I am most certainly not. When Obama was elected I immediately knew that it was Clinton’s legacy he was after. he attacked Hillary more viciously during the 2008 Democratic primary than his general election opponent John McCain. Obama is no friend of the Clinton’s and If I were Bill, I would never have shook hands with the devil. You might just get burned. Besides, it is enough that I have to figure out who our first black president is.