Bill Clinton grapples uncomfortably with then and the now

Bill Clinton grapples uncomfortably with then and the now

For days now, Bill Clinton has been attempting to extricate himself from a confrontation with Black Lives Matter protesters, trying both to hold to his position and step back from it. It’s been an awkward dance.

But it speaks to a broader problem for the 42nd president of the United States. Clinton is caught in a time warp, having to grapple with how much the era in which he served, the events that occurred then and the actions he took as president have been reinterpreted and, by many in his own party, rejected.

Clinton is a gifted campaigner and remains a popular ex-president…. But this is 2016, not 1992 or 1996, and things have changed — particularly within the Democratic Party. Clinton’s exchange with the Black Lives Matter demonstrators over the 1994 crime bill and in particular Hillary Clinton’s use of the term “superpredators” at the time brought into high relief the conundrum he and she face.

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