Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Obama Presidency as an Extension of the Clinton Presidency?

One of the main arguments in favor of Barack Obama and against Hillary Clinton when both were competing for the Democratic nomination was that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be an extension of the Bill Clinton era, which Obama argued of course, as a negative.  Indeed, some might recall the brouhaha caused by Obama when he suggested that Ronald Reagan was a greater president than Bill Clinton because Reagan transformed the country and Bill Clinton did not.  In addition, though the Obama folks were quite skillful about this, they also suggested that the Clinton presidency was too centrist, that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be similarly centrist and not transformative in a progressive direction, which an Obama presidency would surely be.

As it turns out, the Obama presidency is developing into a centrist affair (I offer this not as judgment but description).  As it also turns out, some are starting to see the Obama presidency as continuous with the Clinton presidency--at least on foreign affairs.  Further, it seems that Bill Clinton himself has been playing an important role in defining the Obama presidency (see here).  And of course, there's the central role that Bill Clinton has played in l'affaire Sestak.  (See here and here.)  Would it not be ironic (deliciously so one suspects for Hillary Clinton supporters), if the Obama presidency becomes truly defined by Bill Clinton and the Clinton presidency?

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