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Bill Clinton predicted on Sunday that Democrats in Congress would avoid the political bloodbath during the 2010 elections that they witnessed during the first mid-term elections under his presidency.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," the former president sought to calm the concerns of many within his own party that current political trends and electoral history foreshadow massive losses in the House and the Senate.
"There's no way they can make it that bad," Clinton said, when asked if he was worried about a repeat of the '94 elections, in which Republicans took over the House for the first time in 40 years.
"Number one," Clinton explained, "the country is more diverse and more interested in positive action. Number two, they've seen this movie before, because they had eight years under President Bush when the Republicans finally had the whole government, and they know the results were bad. And--[laughing]--number three, the Democrats haven't taken on the gun lobby like I did, and they took 15 of our members out. So I don't think-- it'll be, whatever happens, it'll be manageable for the president."
All of which was not to suggest that Clinton was dismissing the GOP's capacity for exacting political blood. At another point in his interview, the former president - whose legacy was, in part, defined by the loss of Congress in '94 - smarted that the so-called "vast right wing conspiracy" still exists and has its eyes set on the current White House.
"Oh, you bet," said Clinton. "Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was, because America has changed demographically. But it's as virulent as it was. I mean, they're saying things about him. You know, it's like when they accused me of murder, and all that stuff they did. ... But ... it's not really good for the Republicans and the country, what's going on now. I mean, they may be hurting President Obama. They can take his numbers down. They can run his opposition up. But, fundamentally, he and his team have a positive agenda for America. Their agenda seems to be wanting him to fail." ...
As for the 2010 elections, the current construct in House of Representatives - in which a substantial chunk of the 256 Democrats hail from traditionally conservative districts - does portend for significant (but, perhaps, not heavy) losses in the 2010 elections.