THE BLOG

The Obama-Clinton Center Rejoined

09/23/2012 12:20 pm ET | Updated Nov 23, 2012

The irony is too overwhelming to resist. After Bill Clinton's speech on Sept. 5, the same pundits on the left who were critical of Bill Clinton's "centrism" and "triangulation" in the 1990s and through the Obama primary campaign were gushing about Clinton on national TV. And many of the same conservative pundits who were critical of Clinton and supported the partisan impeachment process were also singing his praises after the speech.

Yes, the left and the right finally appeared to agree on at least one thing: They liked Bill Clinton. On July 22, 2010, I wrote a "Purple Nation" column in this space, titled "The Clinton-Obama Progressive Center: Returning to the Winning Formula." On Feb. 1, 2012, I wrote a "Purple Nation" column titled "Get Ready for the Obama-Reagan-Clinton Pivot." On Wednesday and Thursday nights in the Clinton and Obama convention speeches, that happened.

In his keynote speech, Clinton restated his successful ideological hybrid of social progressivism, cultural moderation and fiscal responsibility. He proved, once again, that a progressive Democrat can also be pro-business, pro-growth and pro-free market. And in his acceptance speech, Barack Obama affirmed these same center-left themes. Let's compare the two speeches, which will prove this to be so:

Here are few Clintonian excerpts from Obama's acceptance speech:

• " ... not every problem can be remedied with another program or dictate from Washington." (Remember Bill Clinton saying<"The era="" of="" big="" government="" is="" over"="">

Davis, the principal in the Washington law firm of Lanny J. Davis & Associates, which also specializes in legal crisis management, served as President Clinton's special counsel from 1996-98 and as a member of President George W. Bush's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (2006-07). He currently serves as Special Counsel to Dilworth Paxson. He is the author of the book "Scandal: How 'Gotcha' Politics Is Destroying America" and the forthcoming book, "Crisis Tales - Five Rules for Handling Scandal in Business, Politics and Life," to be published by Simon & Schuster.