A Political Lesson from the Master

Posted By on June 9, 2005

Greta Van SusterenPresident Clinton interview by Greta

Monday and Tuesday night of this past week, I watched pieces of the two part interview that Greta Van Susteren had with President Clinton. It was pretty much a ‘fluff’ interview, yet I appreciate the respect some reporters give to our presidents. All in all it was a lesson that Howard Dean and many democrats could use in how to grow and unite their party. (we would all benefit)

President Clinton did a masterful job of politely dancing around critical comments, as usual. He was able to communicate the failures and shortcomings in competing with Republicans in the past couple of elections. I saw some of what a respected biodieselnow forum poster, Mike Briggs, has communicated in regard to the Republicans only campaigning on ‘surface and image issues.’ It was exactly what President Clinton pointed to. (rarely do GOP candidates campaign with depth into issues; something many of us, if honest, recognized during the presidential debates.) Where Clinton differs from most of the democrats currently steering the party is that instead of denigrating voters, he was able place blame on his own party. (something few are doing in preference to placing the blame solely on the GOP, the weak-minded voters or lobbyist influencing decisions)

Clinton also recognized the mix of opinions within his party on vision and direction, and is obviously doing his part to credit popular Republican positions and complimenting, not done by many democrats. (probably to enhance Hilary or sell volume II of his book … or both!) He communicated respect for President Bush as a likable guy that he has good relationships with and even has even more gushing compliments for the senior President Bush. When asked if and why the two past presidents (Bush I and Clinton) seemed to get along so well, he politely said “it was all because his predecessor; President Bush (senior) took the initiative.” What a way to humble himself and continue to be likable; I is no wonder he remains so popular. He went on to communicate how even after he defeated Bush in ‘92, that there was a remarkable professionalism in the way the office was handed over and that he (Clinton) receive appreciated continuing support from George Bush senior throughout his term. He continued on with positive comments about our current President and how both men respected each other … even though their philosophy and ideas were different. He did very little to degrade our President (perhaps a courtesy all past presidents practice), but was able to pinpoint particular ‘dirty’ GOP attacks during last Fall’s election … all the while indicating that the GOP was “just better at campaigning.” He went on to comment that the tearing down of ones political positions was not dirty politics, but the tearing down of ones person was. (I had to agree) All in all, I found myself liking the man … not his politics, but the likable personal traits he has mastered so well. He would not comment on Hilary’s running in 2008, but was quick to point to her reaching out crossing the aisle and doing a great job as Senator. He is obviously going to be an asset if she decides to run.

After listening to the latest controversial comments by Howard Dean (DNC Chair), I can not understand why democrats continue to rally behind that kind of leadership. If he were demonstrated winner using derogatory statements it would be one thing, but he doesn’t even seem to win over many moderates in his own party let alone independents or Republicans? When will we see two parties that represent average Americans better … certainly neither party at the moment is doing a great job.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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