Stand By Your Woman

Bill Clinton says Hillary will be history's second-best president.

By 2.18.08

CANTON, Ohio -- Former President Bill Clinton said yesterday that if his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, is elected, she will be "the second-best president in history."

"Today is Presidents Day," Clinton said at a campaign stop here for his wife before Ohio's Democratic primary. "It's a day when we look back on two centuries of American leadership and remember all the presidents who were almost as great as me.

"We're talking some world-class talent here, folks. Abe Lincoln. FDR. George Washington. Me. But you know, if Hillary gets elected, she'll outshine all of 'em. Well, almost all. Ahem!"

Clinton said that although George Washington fathered the country, Thomas Jefferson doubled its size, Abraham Lincoln preserved it and Franklin Roosevelt transformed it, none of them "achieved universal health care, restored our standing in the world, saved the middle class from annihilation, and saved the planet by ending global warming." He said those accomplishments would be his wife's legacy.

Though he did not have the list of accomplishments he said his wife would have, he said his own legacy was nonetheless greater because "I laid the groundwork for any and all achievements she will have, or that George W. Bush had, too, or any other future president, for that matter. I mean, I ended the era of big government, left the country with a budget surplus, kept us out of war, made agreements like Kyoto possible, and kept us safe from alien invasion. Oh, yeah, you don't know about that, do you? Well, you will. One day, you will. When that day comes, they'll put my friggin face on TOP of Mt. Rushmore, believe me."

Asked where Sen. Barack Obama would rate were he to be elected, Clinton said, "Probably somewhere between Chester Arthur and William Henry Harrison. Assuming he doesn't die from a drug overdose at the inaugural ball. Then it'd be dead last, I'm afraid. And what a shame that would be, too."

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About the Author

Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. You can follow him on Twitter at @Drewhampshire.