The Clinton White House Memos From 1993 and 1995 That Obama Could Use

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 14 2014 6:02 PM

The Clinton White House Memos From 1993 and 1995 That Obama Could Use

Another tranche of documents from the Clinton years has been released by the former president's library. As was the case last time, for anyone seeking grand or damaging insights into Hillary Clinton, it's mostly a wash. The fun is in finding unknowing foreshadowing of events that would hurt Clinton and Barack Obama, in different measures.

First this: In a January 1993 memo to Hillary Clinton, she was given this background about a congressional leader she'd have to deal with.

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Now, of course, the failure of 24 states to expand Medicaid, holdups instigated by Republican legislators, is a problem that benefits the GOP. The party is not getting blamed in any real way, by voters, for not expanding Medicaid. The Chamber of Commerce still spends to elect its candidates.

Next, in this March 1995 memo to pollsters and speechwriters, an aide brainstormed and came up with these ideas for rebutting Republican attacks.

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That seems to have worked, on the margins, for the Obama White House—Republicans have helped by being easily diverted from story to story.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.