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Clinton Backs More Terms for Presidents — But Not Him

By Paul Scicchitano   |   Tuesday, 08 Nov 2011 01:49 PM

Former President Bill Clinton believes that a president should be allowed to serve a third term following a suitable break — but he’s not exactly angling to get his old job back.

“I believe that should be the rule,” Clinton said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today. “I think as a practical matter, you couldn’t apply it to anyone who has already served. But going forward, I personally believe that should be the rule.”

In the face of America’s continuing economic woes under President Barack Obama, any number of people have longed for another Clinton run at the White House and a return to better times.

Clinton’s comments came in response to host Joe Scarborough’s question about whether Clinton himself would entertain running again, if that were possible.

Clinton and George W. Bush, America’s other surviving two-term president, are precluded from running again because of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which was enacted in response to the four-term presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“Look at President Reagan. He was 70 years old when he became president. John McCain was older than that when he ran for president and he clearly had all of his capacity,” Clinton said. “People are living longer. They’re developing greater capacity so I’ve always thought that should be the rule, not to affect me or anyone who served, but going forward.”

Making the rounds to promote his new book, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy,” Clinton said on NBC’s “Today” show that he believes Obama has done a better job than he’s gotten credit for and he tries not to think about whether the country would have been better off with wife Hillary at the helm.

“I don’t think about it,” he told Ann Curry. “I deal with the world as it is. I think he has done a better job than he’s getting credit for. I think he now has a Congress that doesn’t want to do anything with him.”

Clinton added that Obama’s third year in office is not unlike his own experience. “We went through the same thing,” Clinton recalled. “Not much happened. We fought and there were two government shutdowns. The voters decided they agreed with the approach I was taking. Congress got the message. Then we started working together.”

Editor's Note: To get former President Bill Clinton's new book, "Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy," at a good price — Go Here Now.

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