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TheChat: Bill Clinton offers free advice to President Obama

Former President Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton

Welcome to a special Bill Clinton edition of TheChat.

▪ “He should minimize the chances of being a lame duck.” — former President Bill Clinton’s advice to President Barack Obama.

Clinton said Obama can do that by forging ahead on a clear agenda that includes immigration and tax reform and uses the budget to broker deals with Republicans. Obama appears to be taking some of that counsel to heart. In recent days, he’s started aiming at a major immigration overhaul and worked on climate change and the Internet.

▪ “The president always had an eye for attractive women.” — Leon Panetta, the former White House chief of staff, speaking about Clinton, his old boss, in a post-Clinton-presidency oral history project.

Interviews from the project were released on Friday. Panetta, who would go on to be defense secretary under President Obama, also said that he believed at one point that Clinton “cared too much” about the presidency to have an affair in the White House.

▪ “She had more discipline than he in getting to a decision.” — former Clinton Budget Director Alice Rivlin, in a reference to Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Several other officials interviewed for the oral history project came to the same conclusion that Hillary Clinton was more decisive than her husband.

▪ “People are not getting served. They locked the front door.” — Rocky Nichols, executive director of the Topeka-based Disability Rights Center of Kansas, on stats recently made public that show Kansas officials cut the maximum number of treatment spots for people with physical disabilities.

Slots in the program have decreased by one-fourth during the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback, Nichols said.

▪ “Take a breath.” — Republican Mitt Romney advising Obama and the Democrats to slow down on immigration.

Romney’s advice on “Face the Nation” Sunday was to let the Republican Congress pass an immigration bill, then Obama can decide whether to sign or veto it. Give the GOP some say on the issue, Romney said. Obama appears poised to sign an executive order in the days ahead revamping the nation’s immigration system. He has said he’s tired of waiting for the Republicans on the issue.

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