Memories of Bill

During the last year or so I’ve heard an increasing number of my liberal friends speak longingly of Bill Clinton’s presidency, either impliedly or explicitly comparing him favorably to Obama. They seem to have forgotten how they lambasted Clinton for the triangulation strategy he and his then guru, Dick Morris, concocted, and what they regarded as his sellout on welfare reform, his waffling on gays in the military, not to mention his series of errors in selecting his attorney general, or his failure to pass his health bill, or the embarrassment that his affair with Monica Lewinsky brought to them, himself, and the country.

I say all this not because I don’t like, even delight in, Bill Clinton, but because I fear the contrast to Obama in their minds contributes to the “since Obama has flaws, we can’t get excited about supporting him” attitude that seems to consume too many liberals.

Charles Peters

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.