‘Unlike when I was president …’

By Joseph Farah

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When Bill Clinton cast his spell upon Americans in the 1990s, I was surprised at how his transparent, egotistic, narcissistic boasting was so effective.

He could make the most self-serving statements, and seemingly sophisticated people would take them as gospel.

Apparently, that magic has worn off.

In a bid to bolster Hillary Clinton’s lackluster campaign to win the Democratic nomination in a contest with socialist Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton has begun to make those prideful, nonsensical, pompous, self-absorbed statements again.

This time, they seem to be falling on deaf ears. They seem to resonate not confidence, but desperation, even panic.

Here’s the latest, which is not only an effort to repaint his own presidential legacy as one in which the good times rolled for everyone, but a conspicuous swipe at the current occupant of the White House: “Unlike when I was president, a lot of things are coming apart around the world now. We like to just think about our economic issues, but you have to worry about a collapse in Europe dragging back the American economy. You have to worry about the largest number of refugees since World War II. And all this stuff comes home.”

“Unlike when I was president …”

I’m not a big fan of George W. Bush or George H.W. Bush, but can you imagine either of them beginning a sentence like this?

“Unlike when I was president …”

It doesn’t really matter what comes after that phrase. You know it’s not going to be good. You know it’s a set-up line. You know it’s about comparisons. But, in this case, what follows that line is “a lot of things are coming apart around the world now.”

Could the reason for that statement be any clearer?

The Clintons are not happy about running to succeed Obama in a time of economic dislocation, global upheaval, fear, violence and divisiveness. Those are the conditions that characterize our time. In the future, American history could well be divided into epochs of B.O. and A.O – Before Obama and After Obama. It won’t be because of the liberty, peace, prosperity, justice and unity he brought the country.

Bill Clinton knows this and he’s using it to help his wife win the nomination.

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But it’s not working, because Bill Clinton has lost his magic.

He just can’t say anything anymore, like he could in the 1990s, and expect it to resonate.

Unlike when he was president, he can’t cast spells any longer.

Somebody suggested Clinton’s remark represented a “veiled jab at Obama’s handling of world affairs.”

“Veiled”?

After he began the sentence: “Unlike when I was president …”?

There’s nothing veiled about that jab. It was about as veiled as what he said about Obama on March 21 when he talked about the “awful legacy” of the last eight years.

It was about as veiled as Chelsea Clinton’s criticism of Obamacare and its “crushing costs.”

Both comments were in the context of explaining why the country so desperately needs Hillary Clinton as president.

I’m not even sure Bill Clinton’s role on the campaign trail is an asset to his wife. He’s not drawing crowds. He’s not connecting with young people any more than his wife does. His speeches seem incoherent, awkward and, as always, self-aggrandizing.

But is this a dangerous game Bill Clinton is playing when his wife is facing indictment and her fate is in the hands of Obama’s attorney general?

Is he playing with fire?

Or is he so confident the fix is in that he’s free to take swipes at a sitting Democratic president?

I don’t know the answers, but it sure is a spectacle to behold.

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