MacKenzie: “Did you know it was Bill Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall?” Will: “Everybody knows that.” Conversation on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” originally broadcast July 22, 2012
With little success on the economic front, President Obama in 2012 is embracing much of his message on the economy from 2008. And from that playbook, he has two basic strategies.
One is to blame the supposed deregulation policies of the George W. Bush administration that Obama and his surrogates endlessly say “got us into this mess.” And the second is to hug former rivals Bill and Hillary Clinton as hard as he can and harken back to the prosperity and economic growth of the 1990s.
But there is just one problem with this theme. The Obama campaign’s twin messages of bashing deregulation and embracing the Clinton years are inherently contradictory. He is telling Americans to, in essence, look at the ‘90s, but don’t look too closely. Or they might see that the ‘90s, perhaps even more than even the ‘80s, was a decade of deregulation.
In a much-hyped new pro-Obama ad, Clinton warns that a Mitt Romney presidency would “go back to deregulation,” and we can expect Clinton to make similar claims in his prime speaking slot in the Democratic convention. The fact remains, however, that on financial regulation, Bill Clinton as president was actually more of a deregulator than Bush.