Republicans who once loathed former President Bill Clinton are having second thoughts about him, The New York Times reports
. The GOP is seeing the good that Clinton did in reaching across the aisle and compromising with Republicans — especially after they have fought for nearly two years with the Obama administration. Top Republicans — from Orrin Hatch to Paul Ryan — are praising the former president they battled a decade ago.
Clinton “will go down in history a better president,’’ than Barack Obama, declared Sen. Hatch, R-Utah. “I enjoy Bill Clinton,’’ said U.S. Rep. Ryan, a six-term Republican from Wisconsin. “The first two years of his first term was one thing, but the rest of his presidency was tempered with moderation, and the nation benefited.’’
Even Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, who has criticized Clinton sharply in the past, recently bestowed “good old Bill” on the former president — while continuing his sharp attacks on the Democrat who is in the White House now.
Meanwhile the Times' story openly asks how Obama will “manage his legislative and political agenda should the Republicans take back the House next month.’’ But Obama may hit resistance from his own base if he tries to do what Clinton did after his own midterm 1994 defeats and move toward the middle.
“If Obama moves to the center it may be practical but his base won’t like it,’’ said Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman from Minnesota.
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