Bill and Barack

Chris Cummins
Staff Writer

Today, Bill Clinton held a press conference to throw his support behind President Obama’s tax bill.  That sentence is about the most telling, and accuate summation of Mr. Obama’s presidency, in it’s own way. Mr. Obama has spent these first two years of his term alienating those in the center, first with the crude passage of the health care bill, and those in the left, with his unwillingness to churn out reliably left wing legislation, and with his agreeing to compromise on the tax cuts and similar right wing legislation.

With the recent  midterm election results, in which the Democratic party lost the House and their majority in the Senate was lessened, it seeemed reasonable to bring up the recent memory of the Republican’s similar victory in 1994. Soon after, despite the defeat the Republican’s laid at the feet of the Clinton administration, the former president moved to the center, casting himself as a moderate president dealing with radicals, most especially during the government shutdown of 1996, in which Newt Gingrich came off as petulant, petty, and small minded.

Unfortunately enough, Obama’s much vaunted slide to the center seems to have gotten off to an inauspicious start. The tax cuts compromise, which are really a centrist move, seems to have been greeted with a collective sigh of derision by the left, and a crow of victory by the right.  The perception that this president has moved to the center seems not to have resonated with the general public, and that, more so than him actually doing so, is vital.

For more information on the press conference, go to: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/bill-clinton-holds-court-in-impromptu-white-house-news-conference/?hp