I can still hear the James Carvell orchestrated mantra of the Clinton campaign in 1992, drilling it into all our thick heads that the economy was the only issue that mattered that year. In his own, inimitable way, he summarized the three points of that campaign as being, “change vs. more of the same,” “The economy, stupid” and “Don't forget health care.” It is refreshing to know that with all the hyperbole about change, that some things actually never do change . . . like Democrats and elections.
It is easy to understand why Hillary would rely on those three successful points to hang her campaign on since they were prominently posted at the Clinton headquarters in 1992 as a constant reminder to employ the KISS method of political strategy . . . Keep It Simple Stupid. But, that doesn’t explain why Obama has adopted exactly the same three points, not straying off subject to even feign originality.
There are a few very interesting points about the two democratic contenders, who are using pages from the old Clinton playbook as though nothing has changed in 16 years. One is that in 1992, Clinton won with less than 43% of the vote and did just four points better in 1996, never, ever getting a full majority, or “mandate for leadership,” as they like to say. When Clinton benefited from the dot com boom, inspite of having raised taxes, the assumption was that he was doing something to stimulate the economy. That’s like taking credit for the rain just because you got wet. And when Bush came to office, not only did he inherit a recession, but less than nine months later he presided over one of the most horrific attacks on US soil in our history. He still refused to raise taxes as a result of it, and saw eight years of stable and consistent economic growth, a robust stockmarket, and a real estate bubble that was bound to burst as things always readjust to natural levels.