Hillary Clinton is campaigning as a “progressive”, but her husband, while in office as the 42nd President, was far from progressive!
Many would say that Bill Clinton (1993-2001) was a “raging moderate” in so many ways.
Despite being attacked by Republicans incessantly, and being impeached by them as well, Bill Clinton actually cooperated with them on many issues, and was also often quite critical of liberals in his own party.
He signed into law the end of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1995.
He signed into law the end of the federal guarantee of welfare in 1996, leaving it to the states to decide levels of support of single mothers and children, and the elderly and disabled.
He signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was a big step back from the idea of gay equality.Â Earlier in 1994, he had promoted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, backing away from equality for gays.
He signed the Omnibus Crime legislation in 1994, which was a major crackdown on crime, and that allowed the arrest and incarceration of many young people, many of them African American and Latino, on minor drug charges, filling up America’s prisons.
He signed NAFTA into law in 1993, which undermined labor, and caused an influx of foreign goods, due to the low tariffs, now opposed by his wife.
He signed into law a repeal of much of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1998,Â which led to bank expansion of loans and mortgages, and much larger banks that helped to lead to the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
He called himself a “New Democrat” in 1992, criticized liberalism often, and was involved in the centrist Democratic Leadership Council group.
This does not mean that Bill Clinton did not have some really positive aspects domestically to his Presidency, but he was certainly considered by many to be a “Republicrat”, rather than a Democrat.
He, along with Jimmy Carter, were the least progressive Democratic Presidents, when compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and also Barack Obama, after Carter and Clinton.
This might be because Carter and Clinton were Southern Democrats, but the point is that Bill Clinton, while good on some issues, was not a progressive, as his wife now is campaigning on against Bernie Sanders!
Does it mean that Hillary Clinton cannot have “learned” from the mistakesÂ of the 1990s, honestly?Â NO, but the point is she is very different as a campaigner than her husband was!
Of course, when one thinks about it, Hillary is running for the Presidency a full generation after her husband won his second and last term, the last time he was facing the voters!