How the Clintons Are Tag-Teaming Their Way to 2016
Hillary Clinton offered up a personal insight about her family on Friday that speaks volumes about what the 2016 presidential race will be like if she - as many expect - decides to run.
"Our motto is 'we're all in this together,'" she said, quoting the Clinton family mantra. "Which we totally believe."
And she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, lived out those words all week long, hopscotching from event to event, defending each other's record along the way.
In Washington, D.C., Friday afternoon, Hillary Clinton touted her husband's economic accomplishments while bashing former President George W. Bush's, in a detailed speech on the economy and unemployment.
"The 1990s taught us that even in the face of long-term economic trends, it's possible through smart policies and sound investments to enjoy broad based growth and shared prosperity," Clinton said at the New America Big Ideas conference at the Newseum.
Referring to Bill Clinton's lecture last week at Georgetown University where he also defended his economic policies in the White House, Hillary Clinton reiterated the numbers her husband boasted: "Twenty-three million jobs were created: raising the minimum wage, doubling the earned income tax credit that helped millions of low income families climb out of poverty…and all with a balanced budget that resulted in surpluses as far as the eye can see."
The World's Most Formidable Political Tag Team
Hillary is one-half of the world's most formidable political tag team, and on Friday, she was just returning the favor. Earlier this week, the former president deflected criticism of both his wife's health and her handling of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
At a speaking appearance in Washington on Wednesday, he took aim at Karl Rove for his recent accusations that his wife has "brain damage."
"First, they said she faked her concussion and now they say she is auditioning for her part on 'The Walking Dead,'" Bill Clinton told PBS' Gwen Ifill at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's 2014 Fiscal Summit, adding "There is nothing to it. I was sort of dumbfounded."
During the same speech, he also offered a forceful defense of his wife's role in the Benghazi incident, saying that, in his opinion, Hillary "did what she should have done" and that "secretaries of states never were involved directly in these security decisions."
Hillary's reminiscence about her husband's White House years were just as glowing. She even used her Friday speech to take direct aim at former President Bush for the economic downturn that crippled the country after her husband left office. Citing the "different choices" the Bush administration made, including lowering taxes on the wealthy, Clinton complained that the Bush administration turned "surpluses into debt."
"Regulators neglected their oversight of the financial sector and allowed the evolution of an entire shadow banking system that operated without accountability. Government failed to invest adequately in infrastructure, education, basic research. And then the housing crash, the financial crisis [it] hit like a flash flood," she said. "Millions of jobs washed away, along with college savings, mortgages, nest eggs for retirement…and the intangible, confidence in the future."
Hillary's remarks came near the end of a whirlwind week of public appearances - a total of 14 between the two Clintons.
Bill spoke at four events in Washington, attended the Sept. 11 memorial museum opening as well as a fundraiser for Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Anthony Brown.
Hillary gave three public speeches in Washington, delivered a graduation speech via video conferencing to Spelman College in Atlanta, also attended the Sept. 11 memorial museum opening, appeared on "The View" with Barbara Walters, and headlined a fundraiser for Chelsea Clinton's mother-in-law, Marjorie Margolies, who is running for Congress in Pennsylvania. But she wasn't done: Friday night she was back where it all started - in Little Rock, Arkansas - to speak at the opening of an art exhibition at the Clinton Center.
All in a week's work for the former - and possibly - future president.