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Thursday, December 22, 2011


Yes, there is such a thing as Clintonesque.

Politics has an inordinate share of the less elegant and more obtuse of our kind. However, politics can attract truly remarkable individuals.

In his book, the “Audacity of Hope”, Barrack Obama writes about the Clinton administration. He says that the reason he admired Bill Clinton is that he tried to grapple with and solve problems.

Plato in his “Republic” postulated the ideal of a state governed by intellectuals who combined comprehensive theoretical knowledge with the practical capacity for applying it to concrete problems. Intellectuals can be described as individuals dedicated to the life of the mind.

Bill Clinton is a truly rare kind of politician.

In his latest book, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy”, Bill Clinton posses the one question at the core of the US growth and stagnation conundrum, namely: How do we ensure America’s economic, political, and security leadership in the more competitive, complex, fragmented and fast changing world of the twenty-first century?

And to Clinton’s question, the template for action may be found in this quote from Abraham Lincoln, “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present”.

Bill Clinton, I think, is the only political figure in America who can talk truth – unvarnished truth – to Americans about what ails the economy and polity and what could be done in an attempt to fix the problems.

Now here are excerpts (from of Bill Clinton on the Bill O’Reilly show.

In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Bill Clinton makes the case for changing the economic structure of America as only he can make.

Former President Bill Clinton said he doubts that the Supreme Court will repeal the national healthcare law, and it behooves America to have the reform in place.

“No other rich country in the world spends more than 12 percent of income to insure 100 percent of the people,” Clinton said Tuesday on “The O’Reilly Factor,” referring to the “17½ percent of income to insure 84 percent of the people” the United States spends. “And we don’t get better health outcomes. It’s terrible economics.”

The 42nd president, making a debut appearance on the popular Fox News show, also discussed the Obama administration, Guantanamo Bay, the Taliban, and the 2012 election. He is promoting his newest book, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy.”

O’Reilly asked Clinton about the “class warfare” rhetoric that’s dominating the clash between Republicans and Democrats.

“I don’t look at it as class warfare,” Clinton said. “I don’t mind paying more taxes ... but that won’t solve the problem. That will help us balance the budget when there’s growth again. We have to change the whole job structure of America.”

On the topic of Guantanamo Bay, Clinton said, “I don’t believe I’d have ever opened it in the first place, but I’d like to see it closed. I think there are places [detainees] could be kept in America.”

He commented on Vice President Joe Biden’s recent statement that the Taliban is not a direct U.S. enemy by saying he would be "really concerned if they were to govern Afghanistan."
“One of the things that I would be concerned about, and always have been with the Taliban, is how miserable they made life for so many women and little girls,” Clinton said.

He said he respects Newt Gingrich and the former House speaker’s run for the Oval Office, but said, “I’m going to vote for Obama.”

“I believe in a whole different direction in energy policy,” he said. “I think the president’s done a good job with foreign policy, and I think he’s got a better economic strategy, now, going, than the one [Newt’s] likely to implement.”

Clinton said Obama has a better than 50 percent chance of winning in 2012.
“He’s out there running against himself now,” he said. “As soon as he gets an opponent, it’ll be, ‘For the next four years, who do you think is more likely to take us in the right direction?’”.

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