The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson

THE ART OF
KEVIN BLYTHE SAMPSON

12/10/10

Obama exits, Clinton keeps talking - Carol E. Lee - POLITICO.com

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama appear together in the White House. | AP Photo
Obama barely left the briefing room when Clinton leaned over the podium to settle in. | AP Photo Close

Clinton said he recommended to Obama that he read a lecture Franklin Roosevelt gave in 1926 on the dilemma of the progressive movement in American politics.

“After the '94 election, I said the American people, in their infinite wisdom, they put us both in the same boat, so we're going to either row or sink,” Clinton recalled. “And I want us to row.”

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One reporter pointed out that Clinton’s endorsement might not persuade Democrats who are angry over Obama’s compromise on the Bush tax cuts, which some of them view as Clintonesque.

“There is no way you can have a compromise without having something in the bill that you don't like,” Clinton said. “So, I don't know if I can influence anybody. Heck, I couldn't – you know, I'd go some places and the people I campaigned for won, in some places the people I campaigned for lost. I don't know. All I can tell you is what I think.”

Clinton said what he thought about politics, the deficit, Haiti and other topics, including throwing his support behind Senate ratification of the new START treaty, which Republicans have threatened to block.

He said he had not been asked to lobby Democrats on the Hill to support the tax cuts plan, as Obama called on him to do during the debate over health care reform. But, explaining that he spends about an hour a day studying the economy, he made a strong pitch for Democrats in Congress to support the deal.

“So for whatever it’s worth, that's what I think,” he said.

“That’s worth a lot,” Obama replied.

Clinton said he had not been asked to lobby Democrats on the Hill to support the tax cuts plan, as Obama called on him to do during the debate over health care reform. He also said TK.

The relationship between Clinton and Obama has not always been smooth. Tensions were high during the2008 Democratic primary fight between Obama and Hillary Clinton. President Clinton later campaigned for Obama after he won the nomination in 2008, and the two have met several times since Obama took office.

Gibbs described their relationship now as “very warm.” “There’s a unique bond between those that have done this job and those that have sat in that office during good times and bad, during domestic and foreign crises,” he told reporters Friday.

Neither president would say on Friday what advice was exchanged.

“I have a general rule, which is that it -- whatever he asks me about my advice and whatever I say should become public only if he decides to make it public,” Clinton said, as Obama stood silent. “He can say whatever he wants.”

At which point, Obama headed to the holiday party.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46256.html#ixzz17mG4D5HQ
Obama exits, Clinton keeps talking - Carol E. Lee - POLITICO.com