White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who also served in the Clinton White House, seemed to aggrandize Obama at Clinton's expense at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast this morning in D.C. When asked to talk about the differences between his current and former boss when addressing national and international crises, Emanuel responded, in part:
"Obama has what President Clinton has-it's not appropriate to say 'on steroids'-but at a quotient of ten."
He was referring to their natural political talents and charisma, as opposed to any particular policy point. Emanuel also called Clinton "for a host of reasons, a very significant president," and praised his "creative mind," while describing Obama's as a "disciplined mind." "President Obama has one of the most disciplined minds and styles I've ever seen," he said, before discussing differences in the challenges the two presidents face on the economy and international affairs. Everyone is well-acquainted with the uncomfortable relationship former President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama shared during the campaign. As Bill campaigned, he was accused of making too many racially-tinged arguments during the primary and too few appearances for Obama during the general, but no matter where he was, he was frequently an irritant to the Obama campaign. The awkwardness extended into Obama's presidency, as Clinton accused Obama of sounding insufficiently hope-filled on the economy in February. This may not help the situation.
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