A new CNN poll on the popularity of former presidents shows Bill Clinton with a sky-high favorable rating (66 percent), Jimmy Carter with a favorable rating of 54 percent and George W. Bush with a favorable rating of only 43 percent and a negative rating of a whopping 54 percent. In my latest blog post, "Hillary for vice president," I suggested that if Obama puts Hillary on the ticket he would defeat Mitt Romney and elect more Democrats to the House and Senate.
In a March Gallup poll Hillary Clinton's popularity was a stunning and powerful 66 percent, identical to Bill's numbers, which should be a stunning and powerful message to both the president and to those who predict his demise.
Isn't it wonderful that President Carter runs ahead of the last Republican president by a margin of landslide proportion?
It is remarkable and revealing that both Bill and Hillary Clinton can fairly be described as being monuments of public approval compared to every other player in national politics. They leave Republicans far behind in the distant dust and remind us that the last Republican presidency is a past that voters abhor and the previous Democratic presidency dramatizes a future they desire.
Bill Clinton, the last Democratic president, towers above George W. Bush, the last Republican president. Hillary Clinton towers over every living Republican at the presidential or vice presidential level. They should. It was Bill Clinton whose presidency created massive new jobs, while the presidency of George W. Bush destroyed jobs and created the crash of our times.
It was the Democrat, Bill Clinton, who inherited the deficits of his Republican predecessors and created a balanced budget and a budget surplus. It was his Republican successor, George Bush, who destroyed the Clinton budget surplus by creating massive new deficits while he destroyed the Clinton jobs surge by creating yet another recession induced by Republican economics.
Mitt Romney might be praying America fails so he can politically exploit joblessness, but he is out of his league with the Clintons, and he will be out of his league with Obama, if Obama puts Hillary on the ticket.
This is a 50-50 election. Ignore anyone who says otherwise. But there is no doubt that what America wants looks a helluva lot more like Bill and Hillary Clinton than George W. Bush or Mitt Romney. The Republican right might deny global warming, but it cannot deny the polling data and powerful message I present in this note today.