In an interview on ABC News with Chris Cuomo, Bill Clinton said that Obama needs to sound more optimistic when speaking about the economy. I think Clinton has a valid point. One of the things that always impressed me about Bill Clinton as president was what I perceived as an ability to make the public feel hopeful on the economy when he was first tasked with cleaning up the mess that Bush, Sr. left behind.
“Look, the American people, I think, know the president has tried to reach out to Republicans,” Clinton told ABC News’ Chris Cuomo. “And it takes two to tango. I think there are some of them who really believe that just-say-no politics is good politics.
“It was — briefly, only briefly — in the ’90s. It isn’t anymore,” he added. “So, sooner or later, I think if he just keeps chugging along, just keeps the door open, invite ’em to every economic conference, invite ’em to every meeting, eventually, he’ll start getting some votes” in Congress.
Clinton also gave former President George W. Bush a very “harsh review on the economy,” but he placed the blame on the Republicans for “the current fiscal crisis by not moving sooner to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.”
“I personally believe, based on my experience over the years with the economy, that if we moved aggressively on this home problem a year and a half ago, even a year ago, as much as 90 percent of the current crisis could have been avoided,” he said.
With regard to President Obama’s warnings that “the economy could get worse before it gets better,” Clinton said, “I like the fact that he didn’t come in and give us a bunch of happy talk. I’m glad he shot straight with us.”
But Clinton added, “I just want the American people to know that he’s confident that we are gonna get out of this and he feels good about the long run.”
Clinton thinks Obama should talk to the public in greater depth about the economy.
“I like trying to educate the American people about the dimensions and scope of this economic crisis,” Clinton said. “I just would like him to end by saying that he is hopeful and completely convinced we’re gonna come through this.”
He added that though the economic problems are large, he expects the stimulus money to help.
“I think you will see some good economic news from the stimulus fairly soon,” Clinton said. “I think you’ll start to see people express gratitude for getting the unemployment benefits, the tax cuts and the food stamps. And you’ll see the money flowing through the economy. Then I think you’ll see every state be able to quantify how much better shape they’re in, because of the education and health money.”
Clinton also repeated what he said earlier in the week, that Obama is doing a great job in his first month in office.
President Obama has been tasked with cleaning up a huge mess left behind by the Bush administration. It in some ways seems insurmountable to me, but I think he’s doing a phenomenal job. We all know the economic mess will take longer than we like to turn around. I think that can been stressed while giving the public just a little more optimism and doing more educate the public. Just my 2 cents. I get the feeling that the obstructionist Republicans seem to want those who are struggling to feel they should not be asking for help. That’s just wrong minded in my opinion.
[Originally published at TaylorMarsh.com]