Let me finish tonight with some numbers. Bill Clinton now has a 53 percent approval from political independents in the U.S. A 16 percent disapproval. 16 percent disapproval from Independents - this for a Democrat at a time the party is under hard assault. There are reasons for this: Clinton is out of the line of fire, for one. He’s a reminder if a better economic time, for an important other. But the real reason is that Bill Clinton - like Tony Blair in England - was a champion of what both called a “third way.” They were Social Democrats who knew the key to political, as well as policy, success lies in keeping faith with the middle. Scare off the middle and you lose the country. You hold the middle by hugging to three main concerns. You focus on the economy - yes, “it’s the economy, stupid!” You convince people that you want government involvement when and “only” when the private sector can’t act. You do it out of necessity, not out of desire. If you love big government, you will not succeed with the American middle. Barack Obama won because most people believed the Bush administration - led by ideologues - had hijacked America to the course of an ideological war - an ideological foreign policy. President Obama will face the same rejection - by the same political middle - if he is seen in the hands of ideologues of the left. Big things still need to be done, especially in job creation, energy, and immigration. The more he does them, and sells them close to the political middle, the better his chances. Those who argue otherwise don’t know this country, its history, or its basically conservative gut.
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Scare off the middle and you lose the country