Douglas Brinkley: Bill Clinton Is a 'Folk Figure in America' Like 'Babe Ruth or Buffalo Bill'

Liberal presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said Monday, "Bill Clinton’s really become a folk figure in America."

Participating in an oftentimes hysterical Hardball segment about how the former President will help Barack Obama get reelected, Brinkley added, "He’s more like Babe Ruth or Buffalo Bill than a politician" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: I don’t know how you improve on that, Doug. He has that touch that they’re looking for in the presidency right now.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yeah, he’s going to be the super envoy, the, he’s going to do an incredible job. Bill Clinton’s really become a folk figure in America. He’s more like Babe Ruth or Buffalo Bill than a politician, and just going as Eugene said to college campuses imagine in Pennsylvania and Ohio, or even at the convention just being standing there with Barack Obama.

He has a very high approval rating, Bill Clinton, and his post-presidency here has been quite remarkable. We still have his wife Hillary Clinton in as Secretary of State, so the Clintons are very important. They remind people of what a good economy was when the Democrats had eight years.

Before we get to host Chris Matthews' equally hysterical response, it was fascinating that during this sickeningly sycophantic segment which included the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, nobody pointed out the extremely obvious: Bill and Hillary with all of their star power couldn't beat a totally unqualified junior senator from Illinois in the previous presidential election.

I guess it escaped their minds such as they are.

As for Brinkley's bona fides as a historian, I guess he forgot that the Republicans took over Congress in 1995 meaning the Democrats only controlled things for two years under Clinton.

Why should a historian be expected to know that?

But there were more chuckles to come:

MATTHEWS: So well said. So well said. So we’re talking about the past, the present, and the future. The past looks damn good right now. We had great unemployment numbers. We had a growth, we had the [unintelligible]. Everything was great, right? In fact, when the Republicans say restoration, they really mean go back to this guy, not to W. Nobody wants to go back to W.

Yeah, everything was great - even income inequality which according to the AFL-CIO hit a peak under Clinton.

Funny how this never comes up when liberal media members wax nostalgic for the '90s.

Equally humorous was how these very folks that bash former President George W. Bush for the real estate bubble and subsequent collapse always conveniently forget how much of the Clinton economy was dependent on the tech bubble and how terrible things got when it burst.

This would all be laughable if the network we were watching was Comedy Central and not MSNBC.


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Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.