Give that man a cigar. Wait, on second thought, don’t give that man a cigar. We’ve seen what his boss is capable of doing with a good smoke.
The man in this case is Angel Urena, and he is an aide to former President Bill Clinton, who said in a stump speech for his wife earlier this week that “we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us.”
It sure sounded as though Clinton was taking a shot at Barack Obama, who has been president for the past eight years.
But not so, says Urena, who is quoted by USA Today as explaining in an update to their article on Clinton’s inadvertent truth telling:
When Republicans controlled the White House, their trickle-down approach drove our economy to the brink of a collapse. After President Obama was elected, Republicans made it their number one goal to block him at every turn. That unprecedented obstruction these last eight years is their legacy, and the American people should reject it by electing Hillary Clinton to build on President Obama’s success so we can all grow and succeed together.
Hmm. Seems reasonable, even though the term legacy, when used in the context of government, is generally reserved for a former president’s successes and failures, not to so much for that of the legislative branch.
But there’s a bigger problem when you carefully examine Clinton’s original statement and Urena’s clarification. Namely, Clinton’s next words after “awful legacy of the last eight years” were “and the seven years before that where we were practicing trickle-down economics with no regulation in Washington.” If his reference in the second phrase was to Congress, not to the president, then he was also dissing his own party, which control of both chambers in the 2006 midterms.
There’s also a problem with Urena’s claim that “after President Obama was elected, Republicans made it their number one goal to block him at every turn.” For the first two years of Obama’s presidency, the House and Senate remained under Democratic control.
It’s impossible to know what was in Clinton’s mind when he made his observations, but if nothing else, his intent wasn’t clear, which is why a clarification was needed. That’s a serious liability for anyone on the campaign trail.