Roger Kaplan's piece today chronicles the excesses and outrages of Bill de Blasio's New York City inauguration. I watched some of the ceremonies bleary-eyed on New Years Day, and what struck me most wasn't the new mayor's demagogic address or the blatant attacks on Michael Bloomberg who was sitting only feet away, but the dais itself. The biggest names present were Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and de Blasio. Cuomo was Clinton's secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and de Blasio worked for Cuomo at HUD. HUD did more during that time to engender the housing bubble and subsequent economic crash than any other. For more on the subject, read the Village Voice's devastating 2008 profile of Cuomo and check out our own Bill Zeiser's examination of the New York governor in this month's issue of The American Spectator.
Almost 18 years ago, Bill Clinton stood before a joint session of Congress and declared that the “era of big government is over.” This statement was seen as Clinton’s attempt to shift his outdated Democratic party from the New Deal into the modern world. With the recent rise of the tea party, the majority of Americans believe that less government is more. Recent polling suggests people favor a smaller government which provides fewer services over a gigantic government that does more.
President Obama, however, hasn’t gotten the memo.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- How did Bill Clinton manage to run nearly 20 minutes past the scheduled end of his speech to the Democratic National Convention? Simple: He ad-libbed extensively, thus chewing up 48 minutes with what was supposed to have been a half-hour speech.
White House staffers reportedly had edited Clinton's advance text for length, but when he started talking, he evidently decided to add back in a lot of what had been cut out. Dashiell Bennett of The Atlantic Monthly did a line-by-line comparison of the scripted version and what Clinton actually said, demonstrating the maestro's method for hogging the spotlight. For example, the prepared, White House-approved text of Clinton’s remarks had him saying this:
When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better. After all, nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. All of us are destined to live our lives between those two extremes.
The news service says it explicitly after today's poll release:
American voters unhappy at high unemployment are poised to oust President Barack Obama's Democrats from control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2 elections, a new Reuters-Ipsos poll found on Wednesday.
The national poll found that Americans by a margin of 48 percent to 44 percent plan to vote for Republicans over Democratic candidates, an edge that is likely to allow Republicans to pick up dozens of seats in the House and make big gains in the U.S. Senate.
Ipsos pollster Cliff Young said the poll numbers show Republicans would win around 227 seats in the House to 208 for the Democrats.
Good thing for the Democrats it's not 2012:
In a punctuation mark to a tough political year for the Democrats, Obama's approval ratings dropped to 43 percent from 47 percent last month, with 53 percent disapproving of the way he is handling his job, according to the poll.