Bill Clinton, Candidate X and Candidate Y

Sometimes this man amazes me:

Suppose, for example, you’re a voter, and you have candidate X and you have candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything but you don’t think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that, on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver.

This is the kind of question that I predict – and this has nothing to do with what’s going on now – but I am just saying if you look at five, 10, 15 years from now, you may actually see this delivery issue become a serious issue in Democratic debates because it is so hard to figure out how to turn good intentions into real changes in the lives of the people we represent.

But it does have to do with what’s going on now, and Bill Clinton knows it.

Moreover…he was the Democrat party’s “Candidate X” for eight years.  He got through welfare reform, trashed feminism with his sex scandals, and locked economy manager Robert Reich in the cabinet so more free wheeling Robert Rubin could let the good times roll.  He so demoralised his party’s left wing that his VP Al Gore, who should have won in a romp in 2000, lost Florida with the votes that went to Ralph Nader.  (Gore’s loss of Tennessee was more significant,  but that’s another story…)

Now the Democrats are set to nominate a real unknown quantity in Barack Obama.  He’s skilfully played to the latté liberals, but now he’s forced to move to the centre.  And he has to find a way to deal with Hillary’s disaffected supporters (personally, I think that Bill is unhappier with her loss than she is.)

For all of his faults, Bill Clinton understands one thing that many in his party do not: the full implementation of his party’s socialistic platform will break this country.  That’s why (in addition to his personal problems) he didn’t implement it during his presidency.  Does Barack Obama understand this?  Stuff like this convinces me he doesn’t.  But who knows?  After all, he is the new “Candidate X.”

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