Obama introduced Clinton lightly as "the other guy" and recalled how Clinton has overseen heady economic times. Obama warned that he wouldn't be staying long -- another White House Christmas party was waiting, as was his wife, Michelle.
After Obama left the conference, Clinton essentially slipped in and commanded the press conference as if he was president again.
Clinton was asked what advice he had for Obama, given the context of the times: the current president has to deal with a Republican Party that just won a convincing victory in the midterm election and will soon grab control of the House. Clinton faced the same halfway through his embattled first term in 1994, worked some major deals with the opposing party and rebounded to re-election.
"I have a general rule," Clinton said, "which is that whatever he asked me about my advice, and whatever I say should become public only if he decides to make it public." Obama didn't provide that permission, saying: "I've been keeping the First Lady waiting for about half an hour, so I'm going to take off."
Where is the leadership?
What may have been less foreseen by President Obama’s team, however, was the stark contrast in what the military calls command presence. Seeing President Clinton in front of the microphone, deftly parrying the tough questions of the White House Press Corps, I couldn’t help but wish that the former Arkansas governor was doing more than consulting in these harrowing economical times.
[EDIT: This next part comes from an article that is satirical in nature. This did not happen.]
All of this followed by the fact that President Clinton still has not left the White House.
But twenty-four hours after former President Bill Clinton appeared at the White House to endorse his tax plan, President Barack Obama is "still looking for the right way to ask him to leave," an aide confirmed today.
How about... "get the hell out... you had your turn!"?
Mr. Obama had assumed that once the former president wrapped things up with reporters yesterday, he would say his goodbyes and depart in a waiting car, "but that kind of didn't happen," the aide said.
"Clinton kind of went, 'Do you have a computer I can use? I just want to check my email,' and then kind of made himself at home in the Oval Office," he said. "The president was being polite and all, but you could tell he was kind of pissed."
Links of interest:
Bill's Back: Clinton commands stage at White House
The Ghost of Presidents Past – Clinton’s Unexpected Sub for Obama is Telling
[Satire]Obama "Still Looking For Right Way" to Ask Clinton to Leave White House
Has Obama jumped the shark?