Former President Bill Clinton had plenty of praise for President Barack Obama, as the two traversed New York City last night hauling in campaign cash. “I don't think it's important to reelect the president; I think it is essential to reelect the president—if we want this country to have the kind of future that our children and grandchildren deserve,” Clinton told group of Obama donors at the legendary Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Clinton also added, “And it is my opinion that he has performed extremely well under very, very difficult circumstances.”
But amid the lavish praise (and there was plenty, to be sure), there seemed to be a moment when Clinton held his record over Obama’s—making the current president’s own record look small, by comparison.
“Remember me?,” Clinton rhetorically asked the crowd. “I'm the only guy that gave you four surplus budgets out of the eight I sent.”
Clinton soon introduced the “captain of the ship,” President Obama, who returned the favor by praising the last Democrat to hold the office of the president.
For his part, President Obama tried to liken himself to Clinton, regarding both policy and accomplishments.
“Even when it comes to their big issue of deficits and debt, as President Clinton just mentioned, the truth is, is that the two presidents over the last 30 years, 40 years, who’ve had the lowest increases in government spending, you’re looking at them right here,” Obama said, after Clinton welcome him to the stage. “They're on this stage. They are on this stage.”
Never mind the absurdity of Obama’s claim, it is clear he is these days trying to model himself as a centrist Democrat, a la Bill Clinton.
Clinton’s slight tweak of Obama was surely drowned out by all the praise. But be assured: It is a big part of what separates the two Democratic presidents.