I have a distinct memory from around the age of 11 or 12. My parents were talking excitedly about the democratic nominee for president. They were excited because he was young, smart and progressive. Specifically, he reminded them of Kennedy. Or I could have imagined the Kennedy part because my young brain associated the similar ages.
I have another distinct memory, during the scandal in his 2nd term, of feeling like this savior had let the American People down. I didn’t know much about politics, or any of the issues, but that’s how I felt. I’m assuming this feeling came from the general perception of him by the public.
I think the first time I became aware that his 8 years had been considered a success is when I was watching Bill Maher about 7 years ago when the Republicans were considering trying to change the Constitution so they could nominate Arnold. Maher’s “New Rule”… “OK, you can have the Terminator… but WE GET CLINTON!!!”
Tonight, Jon Stewart compared him to Superman, and one of Maher’s guests called him “A Political God”.
Where the heck did this come from? Is it just me, or does the legend of Bill Clinton seem to grow exponentially every year? It’s almost like we didn’t realize how good we had it until we saw what came after.
His approval ratings are through the roof at something like 69%. He basically saved the DNC by delivering more facts about Obama’s first 4 years than everyone in both conventions combined, and found a magic bullet… the word “Arithmetic.” A word just obscure enough that it stood out, just common enough that everyone who heard it knew its definition, and just old fashioned enough that it was endearing. Which he allegedly made up. Just like 40% of his speech. On the spot. I doubt that anyone who saw that speech will be able to forget the message behind it, and it’s the type of thing that could become a rally cry if they use it right.
This is a man who was once impeached. Not even BUSH did anything to get himself impeached, and he broke the country.
Is it that Bill Clinton was actually that good, but we just didn’t realize what we had? Or is it just that we’re so unhappy about our current state of affairs that we put him on a pedestal? Or is my perception of “Forty-Deuce” so impacted by the media coverage of a scandal because I wasn’t old enough to filter the actual relevant issues from a partisan witch hunt?
Or has he just gotten better with time?
One thing is fairly certain… Democrats can apparently separate the bad family man from the good President when it comes to judging him.
This is only my third post so I don’t know how it works, but if you can leave comments please do. I’d love to hear how other people perceived these political eras.