Bill Clinton’s inspiration?

September 6, 2012

Bill Clinton is known as a great speechwriter, but on Wednesday he might have gotten one of his most memorable lines from a former adviser to Vice President Biden. Or so the former adviser says.

“If you want a winner-take-all, you’re-on-your-own, you should support the Republican ticket,” Clinton said. “If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility — a we’re-all-in-this-together society — you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

In the introduction to the 2006 book All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy, economist Jared Bernstein wrote of "extreme individualism" as the philosophy of George W. Bush's administration -- "the message, sometimes implicit but often explicit, is, You’re on your own." He argued for an "alternative vision ... a more collaborative approach" that he deemed "We’re in this together."

Bernstein posted the passage on his blog Thursday, "less a pat on my own back than an acknowledgement that the problem I was diagnosing has gotten a lot worse and the solutions I and others were touting largely remain elusive." 

A senior fellow at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Bernstein was Biden's chief economic policy adviser from 2009 to 2011.

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Sean Sullivan | September 6, 2012