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Liberals fault Obama for not being Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton
Watching President Obama address a jobs summit Thursday, Democratic media consultant Mandy Grunwald, who worked for both Bill and Hillary Clinton, had a thought.

"After spending the entire administration trying not to be Bill Clinton, the president could now use a dose of Bill Clinton's empathy," she told DailyPolitics' Walter Shapiro.

Today Obama heads to Allentown, Pa., where unemployment is 9.3%, with happy news that the national unemployment rate has fallen to 10.2%. Part of his mission: to sing that old Bill Clinton chorus, "I feel your pain."

But Obama is by nature a cerebral guy, as the New York Times' David Brooks noted in a column arguing that the president's analytical mode may be a good thing in these dicey times. While some might be nostalgic for the 2008 campaign of hope and shouts of "yes we can," Brooks said, "amid problems like Afghanistan and healthcare, it simply wouldn’t do to give gauzy speeches about the meaning of the word hope.  It is in Obama’s nature to lead a government by symposium. Embrace the complexity. Learn to live with the dispassion."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Associated Press

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Correction: The happy news is that the unemployment rate has fallen to 10%, from last month's 10.2%.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
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