How Former President Clinton Is Viewed Could Affect Vote





It fell to Mike Turpen, a former Oklahoma attorney general, to warm up the crowd, and he did so with gusto. "Bill Clinton!" he shouted to several thousand people gathered in the McCasland Field House at the University of Oklahoma. "He gave us eight years of peace and prosperity! Do you remember?"

In case they didn't, the former president bounded onstage, took the microphone and spent some of the next hour reminding them: He balanced the budget and paid down the national debt. He made student loans more affordable. He worked with the rest of the world on global warming and arms control. But, he said, "I want you to understand this is not me. This is her."

Maybe, but it seems more than a little bit about him, too. As Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama clash on multiple political fronts heading into Super Tuesday, William Jefferson Clinton's record as president has emerged as a key battleground. How Democrats define his legacy could determine which presidential candidate they choose: Hillary Clinton, to extend it, or Obama, to make a clean break from it.


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