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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Good To Have Him Back

He’s looking a little gaunt and a little tired, but he’s right back where you’d expect to see him eight days before a close national election: Bill Clinton, campaigning with John Kerry in Philadelphia, and soon to make stops in Florida and New Mexico. With the sudden appearance of a media poll in Arkansas showing that state, too, in a dead heat, you have to figure Clinton will make a few trips home, as well.
Aside from being the only Democrat of most of our lifetimes to be elected and re-elected president, Clinton represents two reminders of the recent past that might appeal to undecided voters as well as the party faithful.
First, he represents the successful Democratic economic and fiscal record of the 1990s, which make the current incumbent’s claim that everything’s as good as could possibly be seem a bit laughable.
And second, Clinton’s a reminder that it’s possible to run for re-election as president on one’s own record, instead of staking everything on sleazy negative attacks on the opposition.
Everything about Clinton makes George W. Bush seem limited and petty, and perhaps those who hear him over the next eight days will remember how nice it was to have a president who treated Americans like grownups to be persuaded and inspired, not children to be distracted and frightened.

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