THE BLOG
10/31/2012 08:29 am ET Updated Dec 31, 2012

Bill Clinton: "The Most Trusted Person in America"

It may be unofficial, but it is real.

Bill Clinton is now the "most trusted man in America". The late Walter Cronkite was the only person to whom the American people from all political persuasions and walks-of-life entrusted their judgment.

He now has a successor.

It is a remarkable evolution for Clinton. The key factors that contributed to the former's president's status will have to be analyzed in depth, but I would suggest that they include his willingness not to hate those who tried to destroy him and thus involve former bitter opponents in his causes, his ability to mobilize scholars and funders from all over the world to tackle big, serious problems as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, and his ability to convey complex matters in language people can understand.

Two other factors should not be ignored. The first is that Hillary stayed with him after the Lewinsky affair, stayed with him and became one of the great Secretaries of State in our history. Her indefatigable work in her 2008 primary campaign and as Secretary of State reflected well not only on her, but also the man she stuck with.

The second, however, might be overlooked. The right-wing has been so eager to try to diminish President Obama that they have used President Clinton as a favorable comparator. For example, the right-wing's most outrageous firebrand, Newt Gingrich, talks about how President Clinton and he found a way to work together. People forget that Gingrich thought he was going to roll the President, making him face a government shutdown and then crack, whereas it was Gingrich who blinked as public opinion turned against his radical right-wing Republicans.

But, the human mind makes the past compress itself. The government shutdown, Gingrich's power grab, and his defeat by President Clinton now seem as if it all happened in one great love-fest of bipartisan cooperation.

No matter. In one of history's delicious ironies, that is now the right-wing version of history because they need it to diminish the extraordinary man who occupies the White House. No one on the progressive/liberal side has any reason to rebut it.

And so, Bill Clinton, through his good works, his wife's loyalty and good works, and right-wing revisionist history has become the "most trusted man in America."

That is quite a lifetime achievement.

And Hillary? She will be president in 2016. The right-wing has neutered itself with respect to the Clintons. Just rest up and stay healthy.

And, as "the most trusted man in America," Bill Clinton can bring this election home for President Obama, for the good of the American people, the country and the world.