Why It’s Sad to Watch the Bush/Clinton Friendship

bipartisanOn Monday, a large crowd attending the NCAA championship game in Arlington, Texas between Connecticut and Kentucky took a moment to loudly applaud an image displayed on the large video boards inside AT&T Stadium.

It was of former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush seated next to each other in one of the luxury boxes, enjoying the game, as well as each other’s company.

I’ve always found the friendship between Bill Clinton an the Bush family to be very endearing. It’s something genuine, positive, and quite unlikely in an American political landscape marred by bitter, hyper-partisan animosity.

I enjoy hearing stories of how the Bushes consider Clinton a member of their family, and of how respectful Clinton has been of George H.W. Bush in their travels together. Whenever I look at Bill Clinton and the Bushes together, I don’t see a cheap photo op. I see people who have an honest affection for each other, and who treat each other with dignity.

Such imagery is good for the country. What saddens me about the display is that I know it will be a while before we see such presidential camaraderie again.

Things changed in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected as our president. Once the campaigning was over and it was time to move on to leading our country, we quickly found out that President Obama wasn’t prepared to take the reins and begin defining himself by his own actions. Instead, he decided to continue campaigning against his predecessor for the next four years, making George W. Bush the scapegoat for all that continued to go wrong and worsen in the country. Instead of taking responsibility for his own presidency and taking the licks for his own lack of success, Obama held tightly onto his bogeyman, cast himself as a helpless bystander, and successfully stacked his own failures onto the shoulders of the Bush legacy. The strategy went a long way toward winning him a second term in office.

To George W. Bush’s immense credit, he’s demonstrated a lot of discipline and personal character (far more than his political detractors will ever give him credit for) by remaining silent on the criticism. It’s a true testament to the amount of respect he clearly has for the office of the presidency. I think anyone who has observed President Obama’s demeanor over the past five years can rest assured that he won’t extend the same courtesy, should a Republican take the White House in 2016.

In their rare public dealings, Bush has been pleasant with President Obama in front of the cameras, as we would all expect. I don’t think anyone, however, could fathom how he could personally respect and befriend a man who has shown him such utter, From a Dead Sleep by John A. Dalyunprecedented disregard.

On a side note, I don’t see Bill Clinton and President Obama sharing a bond of friendship either. Sure, they’ve been political allies in recent years because it’s mutually beneficial and it helps their party, but the personal animosity between the Clintons and the Obamas is far from a secret in Washington. It of course stems from the 2008 primaries when an heir to the presidency was sidelined and the race card was played. Not to mention that Obama’s done his share of throwing Clinton-era policies under the bus as well.

Now, there’s no requirement that presidents and former presidents (especially from opposing political parties) need to be friends or even respect each other. The country can certainly do just fine without it. But when you see a display like the one that was applauded in Arlington, Texas on Monday, and come to realize that it likely marks the end of an era, it is indeed a sad thought.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • Mcd53

    there’s also no surprise that obama will not enjoy much of a friendship with anyone. He’s to thin skinned to hear something unless it’s what he wants to hear. It’s okay to make mistakes, but when you constantly blame them on someone else you lose respect. His friends will be the ones interested in what he can do for them.

  • Mcd53

    You guys sound like a bunch of jerks with chips on your shoulders and not an honest friend in sight. It’s been known for years George Sr. and Bil were friends. As he got older bill and George jr became honest, real friends. Maybe not the best friends in the world but someone they could call if they needed too. Must be miserable to be in your shoes.

  • Joyce

    I don’t find their friendship odd AT ALL. These two men served two terms as POTUS, for starters.

  • Tim Ned

    Great article John. I saw this watching the game and what a simple great message that these two sent in a few minutes of TV time. Like your op-eds. Keep them coming. Got your book by the way. Have a trip to Africa coming up so looking forward to reading it on the long flight.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Hi Ted. Thanks and thanks for ordering my book! I really appreciate it. I hope you enjoy it.

      I actually dislocated a finger last weekend, so the next column’s coming along a little slow. lol. Should have one by the end of the week.

      • Jeff Webb

        >>I actually dislocated a finger last weekend.<<

        I dislocated mine a couple of months ago–luckily I found it behind the sofa.

  • legal eagle

    Stick to golf John Daly….Amazing how little insight you bring to your columns…

    • Mr. Friend

      Ahh, Legal… I may call you Legal? Good. I’ve noticed a pattern in your most recent postings today. It seems that your medication is getting weaker. Maybe you can take some time off now and visit Mr. Shrinkey. He can help you with this anger issue. Time to let it go, Legal. Let it go.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      How would you know? You never both to read them.

  • legal eagle

    So they sit together at a ball game paid for by Jerry Jones and you believe they are buddies? The only buddies Bill Clinton has in the Bush family are Poppy and Barbara Bush not their idiot son George W..

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      I realize you didn’t bother to actually ready my column (or really any of the columns you comment on), but do yourself a favor and click on the link I provided in it.

      Here, I’ll even save you the excruciating trouble of having to tap the “page down” key:
      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/barbara-bush-gushes-bill-clinton-treats-george-h-w-bush-father-article-1.1113917

    • Jeff Webb

      Any of your degrees from an Ivy League school, LE?

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        I’d love to see some proof that he even graduated from high school. I think we’ve been giving him the benefit of the doubt on his background for far too long.

      • legal eagle

        Nope….couldn’t afford to go an Ivy League School..

        • Jeff Webb

          George W. Bush has degrees from two Ivy League schools. Howzabout you be consistent: if a person has a degree from a prestigious university, does that automatically rule out his/her being ignorant?

          Oh, and before you play the “daddy helped” card, you’re probably aware that legacies’ guarantee of getting into the schools does not extend to graduation.

          • legal eagle

            Bush was a legacy like the Kennedys….You only have to show up to graduate…

          • Jeff Webb

            Okay, evidently you’re not aware.
            I can assure you that is not the case with legacies.

          • legal eagle

            You can assure me? Whatever…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I don’t think he understands what a legacy is.

          • Jeff Webb

            >>I don’t think he understands what a legacy is.<<

            Seems he does understand how to bow out of the discussion once his argument gets shredded.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I’m telling you, it’s the Tommy Boy Syndrome.

    • Tim Ned

      Wait a minute; are you saying Clinton is a phony?

  • george

    Author of this is a complete IDIOT. They’re friends because they’re both murderers and drug dealers. They’re crime bosses of different families you dumb idiot

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      >>they’re both murderers and drug dealers.

      God, I wish I was as smart as you.

      • brickman

        Delusion is different than intelligence.

  • sjangers

    Many of us continued to hope for months afterward, but when President Obama began to govern by campaigning against his predecessor it really should have been clear to all how ill-equipped he was to become a competent leader for our nation.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Yep.

  • potemkin_village_usa

    DEMOPUBLICANS? REPUBLICRATS? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
    There is very little difference in the two presidents politically; both are progressives! The (R) and the (D) in most cases next to a candidate’s name is to give the impression that there is an actual choice at the polls. The Tea-Party is representative of a paradigm shift away from this phony dynamic.
    ___Bush/Clinton sitting chummy together at a basketball game reiterates and affirms my observation above. “Birds of a feather flock together.”

    • Ark

      LOL

    • Frederum

      Your so EDGY!

      • potemkin_village_usa

        Hmmmmmmm! I would say that I try to be humorous employing comparative analysis. Lighten up!

  • Josh

    Despite the countless accusations levied against Bush’s character, his intelligence and politics, the man doesn’t come across as the least bit bothered by it.

    And, as we all know, even juxtaposed against this supposedly horrific and unprecedented Obama criticism, Bush had it exceedingly worse across the board.

    His tolerance of such blatant intolerance dispels those mythical anti-bullying lessons about ignoring a bully to get rid of a bully. The quieter Bush is, the more people pile on and attempt to bully him, and have for years, with slander that Obama and his thin skin would have a famous celebrity breakdown over. I can just see Obama going the Amanda Bynes route and Twitter-bombing his critics with sad emoticons in 2018.

    Though I’m just speculating here, my guess is that Clinton cautiously got into a few dealings with Bush and thought, “Damn, this is a genuinely good guy.” People of good character attract friendships. Unfortunately, people with good character don’t always accurately judge the character of those they surround themselves with. They’re too nice about it.

    Not a big fan of many of Bush’s politics, but I’m a huge fan of the way the man carries himself as an American political figure. It’s so easy to get down in the muck with everyone else. That he’s above it because he simply is and isn’t trying to make some political stance says an awful lot about not only his character but also the character of those who continue to malign him.

    • legal eagle

      W. Bush is too self absorbed and ignorant to be bothered by criticism…and why are the Bush’s having any contact with a lying perjurer and rapist like Bill Clinton?…..LOL

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        >>W. Bush is too self absorbed and ignorant to be bothered by criticism

        Good point. He should be more like President Obama. Self-absorbed, ignorant, and incredibly thin-skinned when it comes to criticism.

        • legal eagle

          I’ve met and worked with numerous Harvard Law grads….never met an ignorant one…maybe you only believe that black Harvard law grads, like the Obamas, are ignorant?
          The most prestigious law school in the country produces ignorant lawyers? As compared to which school?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>I’ve met and worked with numerous Harvard Law grads

            So you say.

            >>never met an ignorant one

            But the Harvard Business grads are morons, right? lol.

            >>you only believe that black Harvard law grads, like the Obamas, are ignorant?

            What does him being black have to do with anything? This is third time this week you’ve implied that black people aren’t as smart as white people. Is this something you truly believe?

            President Obama is an intelligent man and a brilliant politician. He’s just painfully ignorant when it comes to pretty much anything dealing with economics, foreign policy, or leadership.

            >>The most prestigious law school in the country produces ignorant lawyers?

            I have no idea how good of a lawyer he was. Someone can be brilliant at some things and painfully ignorant in other areas. Some of the most brilliant actors in Hollywood are high school drop-outs who couldn’t tell you how many U.S. Senate seats there are.

          • legal eagle

            So now he’s intelligent but ignorant?….

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Thanks for proving my point about compartmentalized ignorance.

          • legal eagle

            Sounds like your college major…..compartmentalized ignorance…..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            lol. Do you ever get tired of being Tommy Boy to my David Spade, Comeback King?

          • legal eagle

            You’re not smart enough to be David Spade…You’re not even smart enough to figure out where your bread is buttered…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Even worse. Stick to letting others write scripts for you, legal. You’re awful at this.

          • cmacrider

            back to pleading guilty on speeding tickets legal eagle .. at least until you have something vaguely intelligent to contribute

      • Josh

        The racism is disgusting. In this day and age, and still there are people like you walking around. “self absorbed and ignorant” — I bet you wouldn’t say that about a black man! But because Bush is white, the racist insults fly. A big “LOL” doesn’t mask your racism. Shameful.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    I also think the Bush/Clinton friendship is sad, but for other reasons. Bill Clinton is disingenuous, dissembling, and creepy. If you don’t believe me, ask his many female victims. Even in the Lewinsky case where the media trumpets the whole thing as consensual. Really? A staggering power differential is now considered consensual. In most English speaking countries (because they’re based on English common law) such a power differential has often been “outlawed” by what we call “rape” by statute. (statutory rape). Yet notwithstanding Lewinsky, there are several credible accusations of sexual harassment and outright overt rape. (Juanita Broderick as documented in several books) That a man of such low character, is so lionized in our media, our culture, and by former Presidents, is truly a thing worthy of sadness.

    • legal eagle

      Clinton is not nearly as “creepy” as you or your right wing heroes like Newt Gingrich and Limbaugh,,,

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Apparently, someone didn’t read Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky testimony. Few compare with Slick Willie. Maybe Anthony Weiner.

        • legal eagle

          You’re just jealous…

      • Brian Fr Langley

        Now that really wasn’t called for? I never used my positions of authority (and I’ve held many) to seduce some one or otherwise compel sexual favours, (being totally faithful to my wife) and I’ve certainly never raped anyone?

        • legal eagle

          Clinton hasn’t raped anyone and as far as your powers of seduction go compared to Bill Clinton’s, I’ll leave that up to you to work out with Bill..

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Says who? While true he’s not been convicted, several authors have documented claims by one Juanita Broderick to the contrary. So shocking are the allegations and so bluntly stated, (Anne Coulter flat calls him a rapist) that the fact Bill Clinton has not sued for libel, tells the story.

          • legal eagle

            Anne Coulter is your source of verification? Let’s hope no one ever alleges anything about you or a family member…If Ms. Broderick’s allegation could be proven the DA would have investigated and charged Clinton..

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Anne Coulter is NOT my verification? The fact that Clinton didn’t sue her for libel is.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Good column, John, thank you. I don’t think there’s any love lost between the two former presidents and Obama. I think many behind the scenes are fed up with the hyper partisanship.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Thanks Kathie.