Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Favorite President?

In January of 1993 I thought America was in Big Trouble, we had elected someone who was a communist and was going to tax us into oblivion. Here was a man of questionable moral standards who had dalliances with Gennifer Flowers and also used his State Troopers to get him girls. I thought the world was going to come to an end. How could anyone vote for him? Are they stupid? Don't they understand? But guess what folks, after a rocky start, and with the help of a profound period of prosperity Bill Clinton was a great President.

I was thinking about how he secured the release of the two girls that No Korea captured, and the picture that was taken with Kim Jong Il. In that picture Clinton was sitting ramrod straight and stonefaced. Great statesmanship. (Communicating to Kim Jong that "America is not a friend to your nation" )He has the rare gift of complete mastery over the issues, and complete mastery of the glad handing part of politics. He is just as at ease talking to an Arkansas pig farmer as he is at ease being grilled on the most complicated nuances of policy. George Bush has great Charisma and is at ease with hanging out with people, but not as "at ease" as with discussing policy nuances. Obama I think has the policy nuance thing pretty well nailed, but although he has great charisma, comes off as a little bit nerdy and awkward in some glad handing situations.

The "likeability factor" is very important in American politics because it corresponds directly to the approval rating which gives the President more influence over the lawmakers.

The command of the issues is very important because it allows the President to be more effective in executing policy.

Anyways, 16 years ago if you would have told me that Bill Clinton would be my favorite President, I would have thought you were out of your mind.

With regards to Monica Lewinsky......
I have to assume that nearly all Presidents have had mistresses, Clinton was outed by Linda Tripp, and his case was blown up into a circus.....So if I fault him for extra marital affairs I have to fault 80% of our Presidents for the same thing.

P.S. I never voted for Bill Clinton, I voted for Bush and Dole


dole2obama said...

Big guy-
Bill Clinton was a great President!My feelings towards him are not due to any emotional arguments or misguided judgements on his personal life or how I feel about Hillary, it is a simply the fact. If you look at unemployment, real wages, the GDP, inflation, the Dow, and the deficit and compare it under Bill Clinton's term to Reagan's or W's eight years in office than you will be shocked at the stark difference in economic conditions. Clinton passed NAFTA, reduced unemployment, created a federal surplas, oversaw a record drop in crime, reduced welfare rolls to historic lows and kept America safe. If you claim Clinton was not a good President because of Monica Lewinsky that is like saying Tiger Woods is not a good golfer. "Just the facts man"

Grandma Dee said...

Got to agree with you Garrett. I feel that Clinton was most effective as a diplomat and was well-liked and respected around the world. Most of the world looks differently at the Lewinsky debacle than we do. He has continued to be involved in diplomacy post-presidency and has used his power and charisma effectively. I care for him more now than I did for him when he was president.

Sailing Vessel Serenity NOW said...

I guess you all feel that bedding down an intern who was close to the same age as the President of the United States daughter is o.k. And that Monica's parents should feel flattered that their daughter was sent to Washington to learn how the political machine in D.C. runs and instead was seduced by Clinton and performed the Lewinsky on Clinton while Arafat waited in the Rose Garden for his meeting with the Prez. And we wonder why the morals of this Country are in the tank. Very,very sad indeed.

Brett said...

Gar, some very valid points. I agree that most presidents (in more recent times) have probably had affairs. And of course this is not the test of policy - Matt's Tiger Woods analogy is spot on.

However, the likability test is a double edged sword. Someone with charisma is going to be more effective in getting all their policies passed for better or ill. Isn't the definition of diplomacy telling someone to go to hell and having them look forward to the trip? :)

Bible Thumpin' Mike in Utah said...

I am on board with you Garrett. As you can remember back in the MMW days I hated this man. I do not know if he is number 1 in my book, but absolutely top three, even if I disagree with him on some important issues. Life has gotten better ever since I realized that the man in the White House really has no bearing in my personal happiness. Wow, what days the 90's were constantly miserable because "my guy" at the time lost the election.
I very much like Bill Clinton. One picture that comes across in my mind of him is his cool calm realization of the moment at hand (what ever it may be). He let many non-important things and accusation roll off his back and they went away, when others would have made them a big deal with their response.
Also his excitement at the GW Bush inaugaration made me really like this man. When Al Gore was stone faced and upset over the election, Clinton was genuinly excited to be there. When the Bush's came forward to take the oath, the twins stayed at their seat, while Bill Clinton enthusiastically waved for them to get up their with their dad for his big moment of taking the oath. My opinion of him changed a lot by that one gesture.