Who would you guess to be the most popular politician in America?
Sarah Palin? You would probably think so if you were a regular viewer of Fox News.
Barack Obama? Right-wingers detest him. Left-wingers are disappointed in him. Does anybody except Bo the dog even like him anymore?
Mike Huckabee? Some profess to find him charming and appealing. Personally, I don't see it, but then I'm almost never with the majority.
This time, though, I am with the majority. If you asked me who is the most popular politician in America, I would reply, unhesitatingly, Bill Clinton, and so, apparently, would 55% of my fellow Americans! This is according to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
In the poll 55% had a favorable view of Clinton while only 23% had an unfavorable view. Only two other politicians in the poll managed to garner an overall favorable response. Barack Obama had 47% favorable, 41% unfavorable, and Mike Huckabee barely squeaked by with 26% favorable and 25% unfavorable. As for Sarah Palin, she was well into negativity with only 30% favorable and a whopping 48% unfavorable.
So what is it about this love affair that the American people have with Bill Clinton? How can they still have a positive view of him after all his mistakes, some of them very public?
I think the answer lies in the fact that we have all made mistakes and we have all had our embarrassments and we can identify with Bill. He is our all-too-human president, the man who, for eight too brief years, gave us peace and prosperity. Today, it is hard to remember what that was like, but we yearn for it and so we look at the larger-than-life man with the (now) shock of white hair and we have nothing but positive feelings about him.
Bill Clinton is smarter than most people and he has a heart bigger than most people. He loves and needs people, as he loves and needs politics. People sense that and they respond to it. They see that he doesn't mind getting down in the political trenches with the foot soldiers to slug it out with the competition. That is why he is so much in demand this political season and why he is criss-crossing the country to appear at rallies in far-flung places and urge people to get out and vote for Democrats. He understands only too well what the alternatives are.
Another thing about Bill Clinton, he has had loyal friends, but he's always been lucky in his enemies. People like Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. Yuck! No wonder Clinton is so popular. In comparison to these guys, he is a veritable paragon of virtue.