The Fix: Bill Clinton

The public still blames Bush. And it celebrates the Clintons.

The public still blames Bush. And it celebrates the Clintons.

Being a Clinton sure beats being a Bush these days. At least according to the polls.

Nearly five years after George W. Bush left office, half the public still blames the former president for the nation’s economic woes, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week. The survey comes as Republicans have continued to keep the 43rd president at arm’s length.

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What Podesta’s WH return means for Obama’s environmental policy

What Podesta’s WH return means for Obama’s environmental policy

John Podesta’s decision this week to join the White House staff will not only elevate the importance of climate change within the Obama administration, but it could have much broader implications for the president’s environmental policies.

Podesta played a critical role in shaping Bill Clinton’s environmental record while serving as White House chief of staff between 1998 and 2000, pushing for the designation of several national monuments as well as a national roadless rule that preserved tens of millions of acres of national forest. Since leaving the White House and founding the liberal think tank in Center for American Progress in 2003, Podesta has made climate change one of his top priorities for the past decade.

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Nelson Mandela’s history with U.S. presidents -- in 10 images and videos

Nelson Mandela’s history with U.S. presidents -- in 10 images and videos

Note: We originally published this item on June 27. In light of Nelson Mandela's death, we have updated this item and are reposting it now.

There's the lasting image of Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton looking out of the jail cell where Mandela spent years. Or the ceremony where he received the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia. And many more.

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Bill Clinton tells Letterman ‘I honestly don’t know’ whether Hillary will run in 2016 (VIDEO)

CBS’s David Letterman tried to squeeze some new information out of Bill Clinton Monday about whether former secretary of state Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016.

The former president wouldn’t bite.

“If she is running to your knowledge, blink twice,” Letterman told Clinton.

“I blinked once!” said Clinton with a smile.

“You know that if I did know, I wouldn’t tell you,” Clinton later added. “But I honestly don’t know, Chelsea doesn’t know, and Hillary doesn’t know.”

Letterman joked, “Well, you could finish her book.”

Rahm Emanuel backs Obama on Syria, does Clinton impression (VIDEO)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) appeared Monday on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” where he said Congress should back President Obama’s call for military action against the Syrian government.

“I think the Congress of the United States should make sure America stands tall at this moment,” Emanuel said.

“This is not an easy choice,” he added.

He also discussed what it was like to be White House chief of staff -- and even did his best impression of former president Bill Clinton.

The Fix’s 10 best political nicknames

The Fix’s 10 best political nicknames

Here at the The Fix, we love a good nickname. And lucky for us, politics is chock-full of them.

Over the years, politicians all across the country have come to be known by nicknames that speak volumes about their personality, style, background or demeanor. And in some cases, the nickname all but displaces a pol’s birth name.

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Why President Obama is deploying explainer-in-chief Bill Clinton to lift Obamacare

Why President Obama is deploying explainer-in-chief Bill Clinton to lift Obamacare

The “Secretary of Explaining Stuff” has just been deployed for assignment. Again.

Facing key implementation deadlines for a health-care law that has been received poorly by the public and is the subject of unwavering criticism from Republicans, President Obama is trying to right the ship by turning to the Democratic Party’s best messenger: Bill Clinton.

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Does Bill Clinton deserve to have EPA named in his honor? Actually, yes.

Does Bill Clinton deserve to have EPA named in his honor?   Actually, yes.

Former president William Jefferson Clinton will return to Washington on Wednesday, for a celebration of his environmental legacy as the federal government renames the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in his honor.

While several former presidents have federal buildings named after them--including Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush and Theodore Roosevelt--it's always worth examining whether the politician in question deserves such an accolade. In the case of Clinton, it's clear he's a natural fit for EPA. Love it or hate it, he enacted some of the most sweeping environmental protections in U.S. history.

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Bill Clinton headlining McAuliffe fundraiser

EARLIER ON THE FIX:

The fight over food stamps explained

The farm bill provides a rare victory for House Republicans

Will Bob McDonnell need to resign?

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Nelson Mandela's history with U.S. presidents -- in 10 images and videos

Nelson Mandela's history with U.S. presidents -- in 10 images and videos

There's the lasting image of Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton looking out of the jail cell where Mandela spent 17 years. Or the ceremony where he received the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia. And many more.

Over the years, the human rights icon, who is currently in critical condition with a lung infection, has met regularly U.S. presidents. Below we look back at some of the most memorable visits:

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The six best political comeback stories

The six best political comeback stories

Political comebacks are all the rage right now.

Once mired in the depths of scandal, Mark Sanford has a good shot of returning to elected office in South Carolina. And former congressman Anthony Weiner, who's career came crashing down dramatically after lewd photos surfaced on Twitter, is openly considering running for mayor of New York City.

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Stephen Colbert starts Twitter account for Bill Clinton (VIDEO)

Stephen Colbert starts Twitter account for Bill Clinton (VIDEO)

Bill Clinton has sent his first tweet, with a little help from Stephen Colbert.

The Comedy Central host devoted his entire Monday night show to an interview he taped with the former president over the weekend at the annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting. The former president told Colbert he uses the social networking site Facebook but doesn't use Twitter.

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Is Bill Clinton one of the best presidents in history?

Is Bill Clinton one of the best presidents in history?

Bill Clinton’s face doesn’t appear on Mount Rushmore, and he doesn’t have a monument bearing his name in Washington, D.C. That much we know.

But judging by the reaction to the former president these days, it seems some are ready to mention him in the same breath as some of those bronze and stone statues.

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Bill Clinton denounces Romney’s welfare ad


Former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Presidential Library (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Former president Bill Clinton is speaking out against a new ad from Mitt Romney’s campaign that accuses President Obama of rolling back Clinton’s welfare reforms.

“Gov. Romney released an ad today alleging that the Obama administration had weakened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. That is not true,” Clinton said in a statement from his office at the Clinton Foundation released late Tuesday night.

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Good Bill Clinton vs. Bad Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton is once again inserting himself into a presidential election, and just as with his wife four years ago, his performance as a surrogate for President Obama has been both dazzling and damning — all within a few days.

Clinton, as he repeatedly displayed during his time as president and in his current life as a prominent Democratic surrogate, has the ability to be do what basically nobody else can on the stump: take complex issues and frame them in simple ways that sway persuadable voters to his side.

But, as he also repeatedly displayed during his time in the White House, Clinton also can veer badly off message — as he has done by inexplicably stepping on Obama’s core message twice in the last few days.

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Bill Clinton sticks another fork in Obama’s Bain strategy, says Romney had ‘sterling’ business career

The shelf life of President Obama’s Bain Capital strategy appears to be rapidly shrinking.

Less than two weeks after Newark Mayor Cory Booker caused the Obama campaign plenty of heartburn by calling on it to “stop attacking private equity,” the biggest name in Democratic politics (outside of Obama) has lodged his own torpedo.

Bill Clinton, in an appearance on CNN last night, said that Mitt Romney has a “sterling business career” and that the campaign shouldn’t be about what kind of work Romney did.

“I don’t think we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work; this is good work,” Clinton said, adding: “There’s no question that, in terms of getting up, going to the office, and basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who’s been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.”

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Bill Clinton: The best surrogate in the country

Bill Clinton is the best surrogate in the country.

When it comes to primaries, especially, the man just wins.

On Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Clinton’s endorsement helped guide Rep. Mark Critz and attorney general candidate Kathleen Kane both to come-from-behind victories in their respective primaries.
Former President Bill Clinton, center, speaks with Brett Egan, left, and his mother Charlotte Egan at an Arts summit at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., on April 17. (Danny Johnston/AP)

Earlier this month, his endorsement carried businessman John Delaney to an unlikely victory in a congressional primary over a Maryland state legislative leader who had the backing of Gov. Martin O’Malley and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). And it wasn’t close.

Think back two years, and Clinton had a major impact in two big-time Democratic Senate primaries, helping Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) win renomination and nearly helping Andrew Romanoff upset Sen. Michael Bennet — against the wishes of the White House, we might add.

In almost every case, Clinton’s candidate exceeded expectations significantly, which heavily suggests that the president can still move votes.

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Bill Clinton’s endorsements: loyalty or payback?

Call it loyalty or call it payback: The 2008 Democratic presidential primary lives on in Bill Clinton’s 2012 endorsements.


Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a 100th anniversary program for Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, March 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Clinton has now endorsed in at least six Democratic primaries this year, according to our count. In all six of them, the candidate he’s backing supported or was tied to his wife, Hillary Clinton, in the Democratic primary four years ago, and their opponents supported President Obama in that race.

Allies of Clinton note that he makes no apologies about being loyal to those who have been loyal to him and his family. And, they add, he is the only member of the Clinton family free to dabble in politics — his wife is Secretary of State while his daughter works for NBC — which keeps him very busy in the endorsement game.

Drawing any conclusions beyond that — particularly regarding any sort of payback — is absolutely misguided, they argue.

Still, it’s an interesting trend. A quick rundown of where Clinton has chosen to play in the primary season is below.

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