Bill Clinton’s dangerous game

Anne Penketh

Things are not going well for President Obama. His ratings are low – in fact latest polls show he would lose the next presidential election to a Republican nominee – and the economy is tanking. This week he described himself as “used to being an underdog”.

You’d think he would find some crumbs of comfort from his party. You’d be wrong. In the last few weeks, Bill Clinton has been undermining the Obama presidency in subtle ways that are reviving bad memories of the 2008 election campaign, when Obama prevailed over the former president’s wife.

Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, has behaved with exemplary loyalty. But check out her husband, asked on Meet the Press, if Obama can be reelected. There is a long pause, before Clinton replies “Yes” before adding: “if people believe that he had a credible plan and the Republicans thwarted it.” It wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

He has since said that the president’s economic plan is “a little confusing.”

Then, last week, there he was again, talking about jobs creation with New York governor Andrew Cuomo. What a contrast to Obama, mired in jobless figures. The Associated Press story about the event quoted a top political strategist working for Clinton, Hank Sheinkopf, who said: “It’s not helpful for President Obama to have an ex-president and a Democratic governor talking about creating jobs when he can’t.”

But Clinton has not stopped there. Next month he’s bringing out a book, “Back to Work: Why we need smart government for a strong economy.” Clearly the former president wants to boast about having created more than 20 million jobs and the budget surplus he left to George W. Bush.

Clinton is playing a dangerous game. He is constitutionally barred from standing for a third term, but maybe he has his wife – or someone else – in mind who could challenge the White House incumbent. The last time this happened, when Jimmy Carter was challenged in 1980 by Ted Kennedy, the incumbent lost. Clinton is undermining Obama at a time when the president needs all the help he can get. With friends like these…

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  • Sharon

    Clinton has been up to no good since day one…I don’t trust him.  President Obama should feed him with a long handle spoon.

  • Sharon

    I wish people will tell the truth about Clinton…many of the problems that exist today are because of Clinton…nobody is talking about NAFTA, Wall Street Reform, etc, etc…  And the ecomony didn’t turn around until his second term.  I co-sign the post, “….he needs to sit his whorish ass down”.

  • jim

    Every man and woman is entitled to his or her opinion. It’s how we judge those opinions that counts.

  • likeit1

    What Clinton neglects to mention or acknowledge is that the Economy was on an upward path with Bush the 41st President. He piggy backed on that shift.
    He helped with the state of the way banks are today. He could have had Bin Laden instead he had Monica.
    He encouraged lobbists into the White House. This guy is a sleezyball. Jealous of Obama passing Healthcare I think.

    Hillary will not get sucked into running against Obama…she has too much class.

  • BarbinAtlSouth

    True, but unfortunately, the electorate (the very small percentage that bother in this country) aren’t exactly discriminating.

  • Nick Bradley

    The dates are wrong, Ted Kennedy challenged Carter in 1980, not 1976 (when Ford was President).
    And either way, Carter lost because he was utterly useless, not because of the Kennedy challenge, which Ted also lost.

  • RichardMayson

    The doco/fiction book “Primary Colours” written by Anonymous and then revealed subsequently to be veteran insider political reporter, Joe Klein, displays Bill Clinton in all his metaphorical naked glory. A man with a serious sex and power addiction, both of which are reccorded in the anals of history. But what history and Klein’s quasi fiction and subsequent biography of Bill Clinton also reveal, is a highly manipulative man, where principles on even values of great import, are “negotiable”. And his inability to get his wife into the Oval office offended him deeply and to this day his manifest resentment shows.

    But unless Clinton starts showing some mellowness in his mature years, his purported sexiness and charisma, might be eclipsed by his jealousy and proxy lust for power through his wife. And herein lies the reason for Anne Penketh’s timely article. He’s very much a man of straw and increasingly it’s becoming obvious. A gracious retreat to some lakeside cottage and thoughtful personal reflection would do him the world of good.

  • Firozali A.Mulla


    “Praising right answers can have one of two perverse effects on students. If you
    make too much of fuss, you suggest to students – unless it’s patently obvious that
    an answer really is exceptional – that you’re surprised that they got the answer
    right. And as a variety of social science research has recently documented, praising
    students for being ’smart’ perversely incents them not to take risks (apparently
    they worry about no longer looking smart if they get things wrong), in contrast
      to praising students for working hard, which in cents them to take risks and take
    on challenges. “Thus, in most cases when a student gets an answer correct, acknowledge that the student has done the work correctly or has worked hard; then move on: ” ‘That’s right, Noah. Nice work.’ Champion teachers show their students they expect both right and wrong to happen by not making too big a deal of either. Of course, there will be times when you want to sprinkle in stronger praise (‘Such an insightful answer, Carla. Awesome’). Just do so carefully so that such praise isn’t diluted
    by overuse.” I am happy. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • Lord Shiva

    Clinton may be desperate but the same clinton has entertained alleged war criminal Rajapakse at the Clinton Global Initiative, NY recently. Where is Clinton’s policy on human rights and war crimes? Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Craig Scott has written about cozy relationships of leaders including Clintons that helped to deny justice to the victims. Obama has to make strong and swift decisions. Obama was in the Whitehouse when Tamils were massacred in Sri Lanka by the state forces and the regime has denied access to Human rights groups, NGOs, Journalists and diplomats and Obama has failed to prevent this human tragedy.

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