THE BLOG
10/21/2005 11:10 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I AM A CLINTONISTA

I am not sure why I should feel like I am taking an unpopular stand by stating in a crowd full of progressives that I AM A CLINTONISTA.

I love Bill Clinton. I think he was a strong leader for our party, but more importantly our nation. He was the last Democrat to out-right win a national election and take the oath of office. He created jobs, balanced the budget, banned assault rifles, made headway on environmental matters, encouraged school choice to help poor kids have greater opportunity to get a better education, invested in cities, created Americorps, made student loans more affordable, had an ethnically diverse Administration, appointed the first female Attorney General and Secretary of State, got people off of welfare, won a war in Kosovo and negotiated peace deals around the world.

Did he make mistakes? Yes. He sold out Lani Guinier, didn't do the hard work of building the infrastructure of the party to win elections without him, gave law enforcement too much leeway with wiretapping among other civil liberties issues and of course there was Monica.

That said...Clinton was phenomenal. There is only one way to keep score in the electoral game -- wins and losses. He WON TWO ELECTIONS. I know many people say that was only because of Ross Perot, but Carter could not win against Reagan with John Anderson inthe race in 1980 and polls from the time show Perot voters were breaking for Clinton.Now, times are differnet and therefore require different strategies, tactics and personalities, butt hat does not mean that we throw the acomplishments of Bill Clinton out in our rage at other" leaders" who are not leading.

As noted by Dan Carol, David Sirota really should pull back the talons just a bit. David can be smart and insightful, but often just blustery and a bomb thrower (at Democrats!). Recently, he took after me and Donnie Fowler for praising Democrat Rahm Emanuel when he offered a plan on Meet the Press. Disagreeing with my position on Rahm's act is one thing, but David questioned my integrity by claiming I was only praising him in hope for some DCCC contract. Patently false David. Save the character assassination for the Republicans.

I have been a broken record taking after Democrats for not showing leadership or taking a strong stance on national security, but I also will praise them when they stand up and take positive steps.

As for Rahm Emanuel, he may not be perfect, but he is moving in the right direction. He is the best strategic and tactical elected leader in the House of Representatives right now and frankly David, what was the last campaign you worked on?

Rahm can count two presidential wins as a senior advisor and two congressional elections in the tough town of Chicago.

Sitting on the sidelines and criticizing the players is easy. Getting in the game and making tough calls based on resources, strategy and ability in the face of a tough enemy that hits hard is much more difficult. I've been there. Our leaders need to be held accountable when they drop the ball, but they deserve more credit when they complete plays too.