President Clinton Serves as Team Obama Surrogate

Nicholas Vance

As the 2012 Presidential election enters its final two months, the Democrats are employing a weapon absent from the Republican Party’s arsenal – a popular former President.

President Clinton, who according to Politico, has an approval rating around 70%, provides several strategic advantages for Team Obama. By using Clinton, President Obama is strengthening his case that this election is about more than candidate politics – it is about the direction of America.

The decision behind pulling Clinton from the bullpen plays well for Obama for several reasons. Primarily, Clinton’s presence reminds voters of past Presidential administrations from both parties, subtly helping voters remember the blunders of the Bush administration. Comparing President Clinton to President Bush provides a distinct benefit to Democrats as the Bush Problem continues to haunt Republicans.

Both campaigns have honed the message that this election is about what Americans want for the future of the nation. Republicans assert that strict free-market capitalism along with a restrained federal government will lead to a resurgence of American exceptionalism. Democrats, however, are focusing on protecting Americans from financial catastrophes caused by under-regulated markets and greedy investors. President Clinton’s transfer popularity could help Obama in November with more specific target voting blocs as well, particularly in the South and among blue collar workers.

To bolster their argument, Team Obama is attempting to show America that time and time again, they have made this decision already at the polls. The Democrats are attempting to display that Clinton’s successes and Bush’s failures provide voters with enough evidence that the Democratic message will carry America out of economic uncertainty.

Though voters continue to favor Romney on the economy, the left is struggling to remind the electorate how Clintonomics balanced the federal budget while investing in America’s future. The economy suffered under Bush as the nation sprinted into two wars and the housing bubble popped, providing a sharp Republican contrast to the Clinton years of prosperity. While Obama has not fostered the kind of quick recovery as he expected, his administration has seen almost thirty straight months of private sector job growth and a stable stock market.

However great their working partnership seems now, President Obama and President Clinton have not always had a great relationship. During the intense primary battle between Obama and Former First Lady Hillary Clinton, President Clinton accused Obama of using unfair tactics against his wife.  President Clinton has also openly criticized the Obama administration on matters of substance, specifically tax policy. Clinton stated in September 201, “I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending until we get this economy off the ground.”

Despite their intra-party feud, Clinton and Obama have set aside their differences for good of party and country to lead the Democratic candidate this November. Both parties believe that this election is essential to the future of America’s core; if the Republicans are to unseat Obama, it will send the message that our nation should turn its attention inward in self-interest – focusing on reducing the deficit through discretionary spending cuts. The liberal faction of America will be emboldened should Obama hold on, and depending on the makeup of the newly-elected Congress,  will have the mandate to pay down America’s debt through Democratic policies made popular during the Clinton era. Uniting the Democratic Party’s rival factions could lead to the resurgence of a steady-minded liberal America not dissimilar from the Clinton years.


[image credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call]