(CNN) — President Obama has squeezed a lot of juice from Bill Clinton. Last night, at the third and final 2012 Presidential Debate, it was Mitt Romney who took a lesson from the talented Arkansas politician.
At the Democratic Convention, Barack Obama borrowed a boatload of political capital from the still popular former-president. Clinton painted Obama as a centrist and reformer who was moving the country forward. He graciously overlooked Obama’s record as a big-spender who had revived “the era of big government” that Clinton himself had ended. Last night, however, it was Romney who benefited from Clinton’s experience.
I was once among the Republicans who misspent two years trying to stop Bill Clinton from winning re-election. We called Clinton a flip-flopping shape-shifter, opportunistically triangulating towards the center. We expected voters to be horrified that Clinton was “stealing Republican ideas.” David Broder called Clinton “a master at such publicly justifiable thievery.”