Bill Clinton on Charlie Rose: Experience Matters In Choosing An Agent for Change

Bill Clinton was the hour-long guest on the Charlie Rose show last night. Video should be up on the site soon, but Marc Ambinder has some quotes:

Bill Clinton said Americans who are prepared to choose someone with less experience, are prepared to "roll the dice" about the future of America. "It's less predictable, isn't it? When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service before he's running?"

On John Edwards: "He is great, Edwards is really good..."

On who else has the experience to be President: Richardson, Biden, Dodd. What Obama has: good skills.

On change, he adds (from the transcript on Lexis.com, not Ambinder):

I think by far the most important question in this day and age for the next American president is, who is the best agent of change, not the best symbol but the best agent? Who has proven the ability to make positive change?

Hillary starts her five day, 99 Iowa county "hill-a-copter" blitz Sunday.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Are there any pictures from the Hill-A-Copter (none / 0) (#1)
    by Geekesque on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 12:03:05 PM EST

    Huff-Po post (none / 0) (#2)
    by magster on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 12:08:32 PM EST
    says that staffers were trying to end the interview.  It will be interesting to watch.

    From what I've read, it sounds kind of panicky about the current state of affairs.

    Staffers sound like idiots (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 12:52:40 PM EST
    Clinton is GREEEAAT in this segment.

    Now that I've seen clip (none / 0) (#13)
    by magster on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:55:50 PM EST
    Bill better in person than on paper.

    Despite what Bill supposedly said all along, Hillary's campaign still seem surprised and off-balance by the closeness of race.

    I hope that the race is efectively over after NH. Dems tearing each other down makes me nervous.


    Ok, I watched the first couple of minutes (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:05:10 PM EST
    He was absolutely in his element. You could see the gears turning behind the grin.

    hillary and bill agents for change ?? (none / 0) (#3)
    by seabos84 on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 12:18:00 PM EST
    ha ha ha.

    I was 32 when I voted for Hope AK in 1992.  By my standards, NOT a fascist ain't good enough.

    I'm paraphrasing some comment I saw on kos --- I want someone who will make it impossible for there to be another bush, raygun, gingrich, delay, cheney ...

    over 80%+ of the country is NOT on the side of those fascist criminals, well, except,

    the completely worthless sell out 'leaders' on our side are too busy with their mayberry rfd level corruption to be bothered fighting the fascist criminals and get the 80%+ off their butts to get rid of the fascists.

    what next? I gotta listen to obama talk about how he's going to work with and negotiate with the fascists to heal things ... ha ha ha.


    Change? (none / 0) (#4)
    by koshembos on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 12:38:10 PM EST
    since when is change a worthy goal? Bush was a change; he represents the worst change this country experienced in a long time. If the next president continues the way Bill Clinton went, most of the country will be delighted. (Workers negatively affected by NAFTA will not.)

    Can we demand from the candidates to spell out what change means or are we going to buy a word from a dictionary?

    Exactly (none / 0) (#22)
    by manys on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:40:59 PM EST
    Bush proved that you can be a complete moron and still change the country.

    Can we demand from the candidates to spell out what change means or are we going to buy a word from a dictionary?

    Sadly, any concept that takes longer than 15 seconds to lay out seems to get short shrift. I'm pessimistic that we can get any real insight into any candidates plans for the future, and even more cynically it would seem that that is by design.


    Bill was great (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 12:51:23 PM EST
    Fantastic in fact.

    Strange to see Obama folks trying to glom on to this. Are they planning on running against Bill Clinton now?

    Boy, the Clinton camp would love that. Love it.

    Here's a snip

    <object width="325" height="225"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_45KK8jwJR0&rel=1&border=0"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_45KK8jwJR0&rel=1&border=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="325" height="225"></embed></object>

    Guess that didn't work (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 12:51:51 PM EST
    Clinton the Concern troll (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jgarza on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:14:27 PM EST
    Ha it is a little transparent, everyone would make a great president except that guy that might beat my wife.  

    Clintons have decided that

    1 She cant win Iowa.

    2. That they are better off if Edwards wins Iowa than Obama.

    So they have embarked on a suicide mission.

    BTD, why are you always in such awe of the Clintons?  I guess you aren't the only though Rudy has co opted her stump speech.  "He will be ready from day one."

    It isn't the Bill is bad, He is better at getting the negative talking points out then she is. It's just every time he jump s in on her behalf, it looks like she can't fight her own fights.


    No question (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:23:54 PM EST
    it was political blather. Of course Obama is ready.

    But clinton put the question very well.

    Forget the merits of it, the polticis is great.

    And I'll go further, having Bill do it makes it hard for Obama to fire back. Is he going to attack BILL CLINTON?

    This was a great political move by them.


    I agree with that (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jgarza on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:47:27 PM EST
    but Bill Clinton pointed out how similar there voting records are better than she ever could and Obama still is the change candidate.

    I'm eager to see the response.  If i were him I would brush it off by saying something to the effect of, "you know Mark Penns internals really have her scared when she is bringing Bill in to fight for her."

    I know I'm biased, but every time i see Bill spout them same lame talking points as she has, and hearing how much better they sound coming form him, I'm reminded that she is no Bill Clinton.

    ON top of that the biggest headline I have seen from this, is Bill saying it will be a miracle if she wins Iowa.

    After watching hardball this week, it looks like at least her campaign figured out that Mark Penn isn't a good spokes person.


    Well now we know how he will respond (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jgarza on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 02:14:34 PM EST
    Per Wapo:
    As for the Clintons, "When I was 20 points down, they thought I was a wonderful guy. So, obviously things have changed here in Iowa and elsewhere in the country," Obama told reporters at a news conference between rallies in northeastern Iowa. And he added, the tactics recall the bitter partisanship that marked the Clinton White House years and that still simmers today in Washington. "That's the kind of politics we've become accustomed to," Obama said.

    Ha and her comes the zinger:

    "Here's a quote," said Obama. "The same old experience is irrelevant. You can have the right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience. And mine is rooted in the real lives of real people and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change. And that was Bill Clinton in 1992."

    IMO it elevates him to get to deliver a zinger back to the much revered Bill Clinton.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 02:46:50 PM EST
    As my post above explains.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#23)
    by manys on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:44:26 PM EST
    I'd say that if Hillary keeps on with the Great 90s rhetoric, she'll open herself up for a Bentsen moment.

    If you think (none / 0) (#24)
    by RalphB on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:48:52 PM EST
    that attacking Bill Clinton will work out well for Obama in democratic primaries, you need to seriously consider counseling.  The campaign kool-aid is starting to run out of your ears.

    Double edged sword (none / 0) (#29)
    by DA in LA on Sun Dec 16, 2007 at 12:54:57 AM EST
    One one hand, it is Bill Clinton saying those words.  In my lifetime, there has never been a better or smarter politician.  There is no one Democrat whose words means more.

    On the other hand, she does not look good letting her husband fight her battles.

    I watched it last night and was thinking "he's making some good points."  I've missed him.  But at the same time I was thinking, "Man, she is nowhere near as good as him."

    I think the two cancel each other out, to be honest.


    I added it to the post itself (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:32:54 PM EST
    Thanks. You can't put videos or photos in the comments-- only links to them (in html format)

    Obama doesn't need to engage Bill (none / 0) (#17)
    by Geekesque on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 02:50:10 PM EST
    at this point.  The people who were going to be taken in by the experience argument are already in Clinton's camp.

    The media has enjoyed knocking Bill around for his mendacity and narcissism in recent weeks, and I don't expect the Obama people will be discouraging that.


    But he did (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 02:53:19 PM EST
    See my latest.

    A mistake I think.


    Probably, but a minor one. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Geekesque on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 07:48:47 PM EST
    Though, Obama's response was a lot sharper than one would notice at first glance.

    Hum i wonder if (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jgarza on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:53:31 PM EST
    this will actually be the predominant spin:

    Our former colleague Marc Ambinder notes that "...(Clinton's) hands began to shake and his face reddened as he discussed the political thicket his wife finds herself in....Towards the end of the interview, Rose indicated that Clinton's staff was asking producers in his show's control room to get them to have Rose end the interview."


    I think if the narrative is a Clinton Campaign in panic it will make the experience question moot.
    If he is so inexperienced and untested, why is the Clinton machine so afraid of him

    Suppose it is (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 02:10:38 PM EST
    It's the Media attacking the Clintons.

    Not a potent message for Obama.


    The most disappointing Prez of my lifetime... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:26:27 PM EST
    ...is entirely wrong.  Experience, with the changes we need to face, is a far distant second to that most lacking element in modern American politics: imagination.  There isn't a whit of it ANYWHERE in this race.  None.  

    For instance... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:28:53 PM EST
    ...when the accusation of the Dems playing the "class warfare" card is brought out by the right, as it always is in any race, just once I'd like to see a Dem look it right in the eye and reply: "You're right, this is class warfare.  I'm in a political war with folks like you who have no class."

    Can you even imagine a candidate with a tireless and courageous and genuinely satirical sense of humor?



    That might work (none / 0) (#25)
    by manys on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:49:26 PM EST
    If candidates actually addressed the character of the other candidates rather than leaving it up to the 527s.

    It would be good if there was some acknowledgment of class inequities in the U.S., though. An astute analysis of the policies of the opposition could put the race into real terms for a lot of people. Screw this "hope" business and get down to nuts, bolts and reality.


    "I have nothing bad to say..." (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:49:56 PM EST
    "...about any of these people..."

    Yes he does, he just won't say it.  And his notion of a difference between symbol and substance is empty -- the best substance IS symbol and vice versa.  Without imagination (symbol) you cannot achieve substance (results) because you lack the ability to creatively arrive at a plan.  Hillary is as paradigm-addicted as any pol in the country.  Like her or not, that is obvious.  Bill is a brilliant guy, whose brilliance, ultimately, is sitting on the fence, afraid to really take a risk and be unpopular for the right reason.  Come on, the guy couldn't even get gays in the military achieved when he came into office.  When all he had to do was say, this is ridiculous, here's reality, we are not going to ghettoize and marginalize and delude and rationalize, gay people can serve, end of story.  But he wouldn't take the heat.  It was pathetic.  And a progressive failure of almost unforgivable proportion.  Our military would be exponentially more evolved had he stood stong on this one example of many.

    A great mind ultimately wasted.  


    Yes, but (none / 0) (#27)
    by RalphB on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:50:51 PM EST
    we don't have one of those.  We've got Talking points Obama.  I have yet to hear a reply that I haven't heard already in another venue.