Bill Clinton

It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why the GOP Lost Black Voters

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

As we head into what everyone seems to agree will be the defining contest for the GOP, I find myself wondering whether African Americans have a reason to vote Republican.

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It's A Free Country ®

Bill Clinton Says New York Should Be Model For Nation in Economic Development Plans

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The federal government should take a cue from New York State's competition for the best regional economic development plans, according to former President Bill Clinton.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Greece, Europe, The Super Committee

Monday, November 07, 2011

As Greece negotiates a new unity government, Europe watches closely for signs of a widening crisis. In the U.S. a deadline for members of a congressional "Super Committee" to reach an agreement approaches. Meanwhile, a new book by Bill Clinton comes out  this week, and it reportedly criticizes President Obama's decision not to raise the debt ceiling in 2010 when the Democrats still controlled the House of Representatives.


It's A Free Country ®

The Politics of Occupy Wall Street, One Month In

Monday, October 17, 2011

You meet more people who voted for [Obama] really thinking it was their last-ditch attempt at using politics to get what they wanted...They saw this once-in-a-generation chance to really change America and they think it's gone, so they're being realistic about what they can do now...They've moved on from thinking they can get anything done in Washington.

—Slate political reporter Dave Weigel on The Brian Lehrer Show

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Clinton Talks Job Strategy in New York

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Former President Bill Clinton told economic development leaders from across the state that New York can rise again and urged New York to keep looking to the future to create a better state.

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Clinton Global Initiative Lures Leaders from UN Flagship to Manhattan's West Side

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


International politics become local this week as world leaders take over midtown Manhattan, with the United Nations General Assembly on the east side of Manhattan and the Clinton Global Initiative on the west.


The Empire

Clinton and Cuomo robocall for Weprin, as Turner files an Israel reminder

Monday, September 12, 2011

David Weprin, left, and Bob Turner ( )

The Weprin campaign is pulling out the big guns a day before voters go to the polls in the 9th congressional district. Governor Andrew Cuomo and former president Bill Clinton are asking voters to support the Democrat for congress. Cuomo's calls will start today. Click on the link to hear the audio.

Cuomo for Weprin

Hello, this is Governor Andrew Cuomo asking you to support David Weprin in tomorrow’s special election for Congress. I’ve known David for many years, and I’ve known him to be a leader who stands up for what’s right. In Congress he’ll stand up for middle class families and he’ll fight to preserve Social Security and Medicare. David will bring jobs to New York and get our economy moving.  That’s why he’s also been endorsed by the New York Times. Once again, this is Governor Andrew Cuomo and I’m asking you to support David Weprin for Congress. I hope you will.

Clinton's call will be going out tomorrow.

Clinton for Weprin

Hello, this is President Bill Clinton. I’m calling to ask you to support David Weprin in today’s special election for Congress. The New York Times endorsed David.  They support him for the same reasons I do: because he’ll stand up for the middle class, he’ll support a good program to put Americans back to work, and he’ll oppose the Tea Party plan to destroy Medicare. Again, it’s President Bill Clinton, I’m proud to support David Weprin for Congress and I hope you will too. Thanks.

Meanwhile, the Turner campaign this morning came out swinging for Israel, demanding the Obama administration rebuke Turkey over the Israeli embassy raiding last week.

"If Turkey wants to be a NATO member, it needs to behave like one," Turner said in a statement. "NATO countries don't militarily escort terrorist weaponry used to attack allies of fellow NATO members. The world is becoming a more dangerous place because of Mr. Obama's demonstrated ambivalence toward Israel and his naïve and academic belief in moral relativity. This is the real world, and President Obama must put his foot down."

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The Takeaway

America's Lost Decade

Friday, September 02, 2011

When America entered the new millennium, the Clinton Administration reported a budget surplus of around $559 billion and the world was in a state of relative peace. With dot-coms booming, real estate values rising and seemingly no end to the nation’s economic prosperity in sight, the American dream seemed to be a reality for more people. But in 2011 the picture is less rosy. What happened over the past ten years, and does it add up to a lost generation; one without hope of achieving the American Dream?

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Does a 'Rascally' Rick Perry Have Bill Clinton Worried?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I had a flashback on Tuesday when President Bill Clinton gave a speech to a group of firemen in Midtown Manhattan and called Gov. Rick Perry of Texas a “good-looking rascal” whose anti-government platform was “crazy.”

That rhetorical sleight of hand—raising an alarm about Perry’s potential attraction to voters while simultaneously smack-talking him--reminded me of a conversation I had in mid-2001 with a Clinton staffer.

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It's A Free Country ®

How Obama Can Get to Yes on the Debt Deal: Lessons from Past Presidents

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

President Obama has had a muted legislative record so far this year, but this debt ceiling standoff is shaping up to be among his administration's most dramatic confrontations with Republicans. 

After signing the health care overhaul, the stimulus bill, and the auto bailout in his first two years – not to mention the tax deal, unemployment extension, DADT, 9/11 First Responders bill flurry during the lame duck Congress last year – Obama was forced to scale back his agenda with the new Republican majority in the House this year. 

Despite his past dismissiveness of small-scale initiatives, Obama has had to table other major pushes on immigration, clean energy, and education. But there was no way to avert this battle on the debt ceiling vote. And it only continues to heat up, with a firm primetime address on Monday and a veto threat on Tuesday. 

But now what? Here, a guide to how previous deals have made been made. 

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It's A Free Country ®

How Bad Is The Debt Ceiling Acrimony? The Best Quotes from Former Pols

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's all inside the beltway maneuvering and hard to explain, but it is indispensible for the American people to understand it so public opinion can be mobilized to stop it.

-Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), in an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun on July 23. 


It's A Free Country ®

Weathering the Storm: What Anthony Weiner Can Learn From These Sex Scandal Survivors

Monday, June 06, 2011

Anthony Weiner isn't resigning post-sex-scandal, and he's far from the first to try to keep his office in the wake of public shaming. He might want to take lessons from this list of pols who got tangled up in sex-scandals and ended up bruised, but not destroyed. Here are eight political careers that went on despite scandal.

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It's A Free Country ®

Obama Saddled With National Debt Debate While Clinton and Bloomberg Go Global

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In Washington, President Obama was to give a speech on how our future would be framed by our debt. But he had waited so long to weigh in, his opponents had already thoroughly defined the topic. His speech couldn't break out of that "me too" sound. If he thought the world faced a pressing environmental, public health or youth unemployment crisis, there was no hint of it in his speech.

In New York, it was one of those precious damp spring mornings at Gracie Mansion. A hard overnight rain had cleared the air. From the manse's generous porch, you could see the East River, just beyond the rolling lush lawn and bursting magnolias. A tanker glided effortless upstream. It was a day of limitless possibilities.

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Transportation Nation

Bill Clinton: China is "Doing Great" on High-Speed Rail [UPDATED]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

(File Photo CC by World Economic Forum)

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) President Clinton was in New York City today to join NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in announcing the merger of  C40 cities, a global coalition of world capitals led by the Mayor to head off Global Warming and the Clinton Climate Initiative.

At the announcement at Gracie Mansion, President Clinton gave high marks to China's high-speed rail progress. "Just as our Congress is defunding rapid rail, they have tested a train that runs 306 m.p.h almost 100 m.p.h. faster than the fastest Japanese and German trains. I would give them a good grade on that. They are doing great."

Listen to Bill Clinton on China's high-speed rail.

Clinton also spoke about green jobs among other environmental topics, WNYC's Bob Hennelly asked the President, "In this last budget deal to keep the government open, one of the things that took s terrible hit was both the EPA and the kind of green jobs you talk about. How can we overcome the kinds of setbacks and develop this long term view?"

Listen to Bill Clinton on green energy and jobs:


One of the real challenges that the President faces in negotiating with the Republicans--and it’s a similar to what I faced in 1995--was captured in the Wisconsin debate. That is, there’s a difference between finding the most effective way to reduce the deficit and the debt and using that to further some ideological goal.

Now, a lot of people in the new majority don’t believe in climate change and don’t believe in green energy. In the tax compromise at the end of the year, the only bad thing about it was they got rid of that payment which was the equivalent of a 30 percent per employee tax credit for green manufacturing jobs.

But, you know, neither the mayor nor I can have an enormous amount of influence on that. I hope that there will be some thought given to that. All this business about they have to subsidize green energy. That’s just, more than others, not true.

Coal doesn’t pay for the air pollution, external costs that they make. We give…  the administration is supporting, and the Republicans voted for subsidizing nuclear giving them big low interest loan.

And in 2005, the Congress recognizing that no insurance company would write insurance on a nuclear power plant, basically said the federal government would do it. How much bigger subsidy can you get?

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It's A Free Blog

Remembering Clinton's Comforting Words after Oklahoma City

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I had just left my job in the Clinton administration. It was a spring morning. April 19, 1995. A bomb went off at the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City.

I did not know, at that moment, what a big part of my professional life that event would become — the first major news story of my journalism career; the many months I would spend in Denver covering the two federal trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols; and the execution of McVeigh another three years after that. All I knew in April 1995 was that 168 people were dead. 19 of them were children. And we knew that this was the worst act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil, ever.

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The Washington Report

WQXR's The Washington Report

Monday, December 13, 2010

NYT's David Sanger and WNYC's Kerry Nolan take the pulse of Washington in the wake of Obama's tax-cut agreement.

The Empire

Global Thinkers: Bloomberg, Clintons

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Michael Bloomberg gets some nice real estate on the front page of Foreign Policy magazine's December issue, featuring their list of Top Global Thinkers. He makes the list primarily for his defense of the Park51 project.

Bill and Hillary Clinton also make the list with this hard-to-top praise: "two of the people most crucial to the new global century are the Clintons...Bill Clinton's Global Initiative is starting to feel like a sexier, more effective competitor not just to Davos but to the United Nations itself."

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The Empire

Source: GOP tries blocking George Soros' ballot

Monday, November 29, 2010

George Soros, a man who's spent a few million dollars promoting progressive causes, may not get his vote counted in a local race in New York.

In the November 2 elections, George Soros mailed in an absentee ballot. He has a home in Westchester and votes there, where right now, there's a recount going on in Republican Assemblyman Bob Castelli's race against Democratic challenger Tom Roach. Soros' ballot was among those Republicans objected to, saying it should not be counted, according to a source present during the count. A final ruling by a judge has not yet been made.

Messages left for the Westchester County GOP Election Commissioner Doug Colety were not returned last week and this afternoon were not returned.

Their practice of trying to knock out absentee ballots likely to benefit a rival is standard practice in contentious recounts. But usually, the ballots aren't submitted by notable (and rich!) political players.

In other news, I'm told there was no fuss when another pair of absentee ballots came in today, submitted by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

[NOTE: An earlier version of this item incorrectly referred to the Oppenheimer-Cohen recount taking place in Westchester. The objection to Soros ballot, according to sources, came from Republican Assemblyman Bob Castelli's campaign, which is also involved in a recount in Westchester.]

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The Empire

The Meaning of Schumer

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Senator Schumer will now guide legislation for Senate Democrats. (Azi Paybarah / wnyc)

Dana Milbank foresees tension with the rise of Schumer:

Expect to see a Clintonian focus on popular (though not pathbreaking) middle-class issues and regular votes designed to split and embarrass Senate Republicans.

Schumer's rise should come as a warning to the White House, as well: With 23 of their seats on the ballot in 2012, Senate Democrats are going to start looking out for themselves rather than for the president. "The last year was finishing the job on all the things Obama wanted and the House passed," said a Democratic aide familiar with the new plan. "These next two years it's about keeping our Senate incumbents strong."


Schumer has often disagreed with Axelrod, siding with the pragmatic Rahm Emanuel over the past two years. He was privately skeptical about the merits of a major push for health-care reform, arguing that there would be little political benefit, because the average middle-class voter already had health care.

Instead, Schumer favored a Clintonian array of less ambitious proposals with popular appeal, ranging from immigration reform to a crackdown on Chinese currency manipulation, to a payroll tax holiday.

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It's A Free Blog

Angry Barack Man

Friday, November 05, 2010

People accusing Barack Obama of being insufficiently “angry” need a Shaft fix. After that, they should get back to evaluating our President as a human being rather than as a stereotype.

Yes, stereotype. How “angry” are people waiting for a United States president to look, and why so much concern about it with this president?

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