I contributed an article about my thoughts on the 30th anniversary of President Bill Clinton’s inauguration to The Liberal Patriot:
Today marks the 30th anniversary of William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton’s inauguration as the forty-second president of the United States. We should take this opportunity to revisit his strengths as a politician. Much has been written – given what we have witnessed since, likely too much – about his shortcomings and character flaws. But for all Clinton’s weaknesses, he was a masterful and multi-faceted political leader. He brought a unique blend of talents to the White House, one that none of his successors have quite managed to replicate.
I am not a natural singer of Bill Clinton’s praises. I voted against him and for his Republican opponents in both 1992 and 1996. In 1995 and 1996, I worked as a congressional fellow in a House GOP leadership office while Clinton faced off against Newt Gingrich and his newly established and emboldened majority. I thus absorbed via osmosis and, at the time, largely agreed with the sharp Republican criticism of Clinton’s leadership. I looked down from the House gallery as Clinton delivered the 1996 State of the Union address and declared that, “the era of big government is over.” I saw this as a profound admission of defeat by a sitting president.