The Associated Press's Beth Fouhy got an early copy of Bill Clinton's newest book, Back to Work, while he sets aside most of his criticism for Republicans, his choice words for Obama are what's going to get everybody's attention. The main raison d'être behind Clinton's latest book, which will be released Tuesday, seems to be diagnose and treat the country's current economic woes--or, in the words of Fouhy, "Clinton analyzes the factors that contributed to the nation's current economic woes and offers several policy prescriptions he says would create jobs and make the U.S. more competitive."
But really what's more interesting is who Clinton takes potshots against. According to Fouhy, Clinton "largely blames the anti-government sentiment embodied in the tea party movement" for the current "mess the country's in and generally "praises Obama for taking steps to mitigate the financial crisis and deep recession." But you already knew he was going to attack Republicans and pat his fellow Democrat on the back. What you might not have expected are some of his harsher criticisms of the Obama and the Democratic leadership in general. Here's what the 42nd president of the United States had to say about the 44th:
- Clinton dings Obama and Congressional Democrats for "not making a stronger case" (in Fouhy's words) at stabilizing the economy in 2009 with bailouts and stimulus programs. In general, he's miffed at Obama's "poor communication and strategic misfires," according to Fouhy.
- Clinton wonders why, before the 2010 midterms, Obama didn't try to raise the U.S.'s debt ceiling while Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and why again he didn't try to raise it unilaterally in 2011 when the GOP appeared obstinate. He says that the Congress's gridlock over the debt ceiling this summer made the U.S. look "weak and confused" and did little for job creation or the country's long-term debt problem. Now, Clinton writes, Obama has "a tough hand to play" with Congress.
- Clinton wishes that the Democratic leadership crafted a national message to counter Tea Partiers' anti-government rhetoric. This one the former president seems to have taken personally, though it looks like this is less Obama's fault and more the Democratic National Committee's. He writes that he and Vice President Joe Biden urged the DNC to create talking points for the party's accomplishments, to no avail, but that he still tried to explain Obama's accomplishments "in plain language" while campaigning during the 2010 midterm elections.