Before the election, some Democratic pollsters and analysts were saying that this year's election did not look like 1994, when the GOP threw the Democrats out of power to protest President Clinton's policies. Well, of course, it was and now Clinton's pollster and his political architect are embracing the comparison for a very big reason: Clinton changed his agenda and won an easy reelection against Bob Dole, and President Obama can learn from that lesson. [See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]
In a new polling memo, Stanley Greenberg and James Carville write: "After the 1994 defeat, President Clinton's standing rose with a rising economy, but also a step back from the congressional battlefield. This is reflected in his response to the Oklahoma City bombing, his battle to defend Medicare, education, and the environment from the Gingrich Republicans, and his reaching agreement with Republicans on key issues. Times are different, but the president has an opportunity to embrace growth, defend his approach to job creation, the deficit, taxes, health care, and reach out to Republicans on a range of other issues. The Republicans may have even less freedom than Speaker Gingrich to engage in each of these areas."
Of course, Clinton was successful in triangulating the conservatives and taking charge of their issues like balancing the budget and welfare reform. Republicans say they've been there, done that, but are open to talking to Obama about foreign affairs, trade and education.
Here's their full memo and new poll.