At an intimate policy discussion on the eve of the Clinton Global Initiative meetings in New York City, I asked former President Bill Clinton if he saw similarities between today's Tea Party movement and the supporters of Ross Perot during his presidency.
While Clinton noted both are middle class and right-of-center, the Perot movement was embodied by one man while the tea partiers are more diffuse and the movement has been hijacked by "ultra-right, corporate interests... whose real goal is to dismantle the government and empower the most ideological private economic forces."
Nonetheless, the anger they feel is very real. Clinton made the point that "big business has done well and people who caused the financial turmoil are already back in the saddle -- they're doing fine. And the government that gave them the TARP bailout -- you're doing fine; you've got a job, you can send your kid to college, you've got healthcare. The middle class squeeze is basically occurring to non-government private sector workers... They've been squeezed by both big business and government."
In short, Clinton said, "I'm sympathetic with these Tea Party folks. American public and private systems need to be modernized and changed so they're more accountable to people and they help the middle class more. I 100% agree with that. They're right."
Taegan D. Goddard is the founder of Political Wire, one of the earliest and most influential political web sites.
Goddard spent more than a decade as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he was a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You
Won - Now What? (Scribner, 1998), a political
management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from
both parties. In addition, Goddard's essays on politics and public
policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country,
including the Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, San Francisco
Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Christian Science
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University. He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.
PRAISE FOR POLITICAL WIRE
"There are a lot of blogs and news sites claiming to understand
politics, but only a few actually do. Political Wire is one of them."
-- Chuck Todd, NBC News political director
"Concise. Relevant. To the point. Political Wire is the first site I check when I’m looking for the latest political nugget. That pretty much says it all."
-- Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report
"Political Wire is one of only four or five sites that I check every
day and sometimes several times a day, for the latest political news
-- Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report
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-- Larry Sabato, Center for Politics, University of Virginia
"Political Wire is a great, great site."
-- Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe
"If I were on the proverbial
desert island and had only one web site to access, Political Wire would
-- Dotty Lynch, CBS News political consultant
"Taegan Goddard has a knack for digging out political gems that too
often get passed over by the mainstream press, and for delivering the
latest electoral developments in a sharp, no frills style that makes
his Political Wire an addictive blog habit you don't want to kick."
-- Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post
"Political Wire is one of the absolute must-read sites in the blogosphere."
-- Glenn Reynolds, founder of Instapundit
"I rely on Taegan Goddard's Political Wire for straight, fair political news, he gets right to the point. It's an eagerly anticipated part of my news reading."
-- Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.
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