10 Things Obama Can Learn From Clinton to Save His Presidency

The Clinton recovery model changed his political fate and led to reelection after a disastrous start.

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As presidential debuts go, Barack Obama's, while legislatively successful, has been a public approval disaster. But he's not the first to arrive in Washington with great hope only to face a public backlash. At this stage in his presidency, Bill Clinton was just as bad off in public polling as Obama. Gallup pegged his public approval rate at 43 percent compared to Obama's current 41 percent.

[See a slide show of 5 reasons Obama is the same as Bush, Clinton.]

The 1994 midterm election catastrophe forced Clinton to change his approach to getting things done in Washington, which led to his easy reelection and remarkable ability to survive during the Monica Lewinsky affair, then culminated in a retirement called the model for ex-presidents.

White House watchers, however, worry that the Obama administration isn't thinking change yet. "His White House is so dysfunctional that they can't even see when it is way past time to make a course correction," says a top former Clinton political aide. "By this point in the Clinton administration, he had made some structural changes and understood that you cannot govern the way you campaign. Team Obama hasn't gotten that point yet, and they continue to make arrogant mistakes."

So what are the top Clinton tricks to helping Obama fix his situation? Whispers asked several former Clinton officials and Washington political operatives who helped us come up with the top 10 Clinton fixes for the president to follow. Click here to see the 10 fixes.

  • See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.
  • See photos of Chelsea Clinton's wedding.
  • See photos of the Obamas abroad.