Josh Marshall on some things Bill Clinton and political analysts seems to be forgetting:
But let’s not be born yesterday. Anyone over 35 has a good adult memory of the 1994 midterm. That’s when Stan Greenberg was telling congressional candidates to run away from President Clinton, just two years after Stan helped engineer his election. Clinton was considered toxic politically in broad swathes of the country — swathes that anyone around then has to remember look an awful lot like the swathes where President Obama is toxic today. And even though the country was then in a comparatively mild economic funk rather than a full blown catastrophic and persistent recession, for all his political skills President Clinton couldn’t do anything the stem the tide. He was impotent, diminished, helpless, crushed and all the rest.
Being president is hard. Being president two years into your first term is hard. And being at the center of the polarizing political storm — as Obama is today and Clinton was 16 years ago — tends to wipe the political genius and midas touch and all the other good stuff right off of you. 10% unemployment doesn’t make you look that good either.
It is also worth noting that many of the reasons Obama has had difficulty is because he is trying to undo where Clinton failed, whether it be DADT, DOMA, health care, or putting back the economy that was trashed in some part because of Clinton era deregulation. I like Bill, and am super glad he is on the campaign trail and think he’s been a force for good, but this is a little more complicated than putting up “It’s the economy, stupid” signs in the campaign HQ.