The Rachel Maddow Show | January 07, 2013
>>> at the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina , last year, the convention at which president obama officially accepted the nomination of his party for a second term, the guy who stole the show kind of, the guy who had the audience in rapt attention for the better part of an hour was, yes, barack obama , well received speech, yes. but the other than that guy, the guy who did that who wasn't barack obama was bill clinton .
>> people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. what new ideas did we bring to washington? i always give a one-word answer. arithmetic. [ applause ]
>> arithmetic. we simply cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle-down.
>> bill clinton gave a stem winder of a speech at that convention. he spoke for 48 long detailed minutes. he made a stronger case for president obama 's reelection than he had ever made before. and in that process, he achieved the unlikely feat of winning over even a number of his long-time political adversaries. after that very well received speech, republicans came out to proclaim their previously secret inner bill clinton love saying oh, yeah, bill clinton , i miss him. now that was a guy we republicans could work with, as opposed to this horrible barack obama who we can't work with at all. the romney campaign put out a statement after that speech saying, quote, bill clinton worked with republicans . barack obama has not worked across the aisle. bill clinton 's long-time nemesis from washington, newt gingrich , had a similar reaction to the speech. he said that bill clinton , quote, worked with the gop. obama didn't. barack obama won't work with republicans the way that old bill clinton did. yeah, remember how much republicans loved bill clinton ? remember how the clinton era was defined by eight long years of harmonious bipartisanship?
>> william jefferson clinton has been impeached by the house of representatives on at least one article. it will go to the united states senate . kumbahyah those were the constructive bipartisan days of the clinton presidency. even if republicans were not exactly kind and welcoming toward president clinton as president, he did at least make a sort of gesture of bipartisanship in their direction. he had a bipartisan cabinet . he pointed one republican to one job in his cabinet , former republican senator william cohan he appointed to his defense secretary . and president george bush did the same thing, he pointed one democrat, norman mineta was chosen by george w. bush to serve as transportation secretary. in george w. bush 's second term, norm mineta stuck around. he did not leave until close to the end. so president bush never appointed another democrat, but he did have that one democrat, norman mineta during that term in his cabinet . barack obama at this point has doubled the record of cabinet bipartisanship of his predecessors, and more that that. you'll recall that he picked bob gates to stay on as secretary of defense. so republican at defense. president obama also picked ray lahood for the norm mineta honorary bipartisanship chair over at the department of transportation . transportation was held by a democrat under bush. it has been held by a republican the whole time under obama. but beyond that, beyond defense and transportation, president obama also had another attempt at bringing another republican into his cabinet . you remember when he offered judd gregg the job of commerce secretary? judd gregg initially accepted the job, and then he inexplicably turned on a dime and decide he was offended at the job and would not take. he went on to resign from the senate. nobody really knows what happened with judd gregg there or since, but president obama did try to bring him on as yet another republican for his cabinet . and now today, for the fourth time, president obama has picked a republican, nominating chuck hagel , the former republican senator from nebraska for the job of defense secretary . that is four republicans that president obama has nominated to be in his cabinet . and below the cabinet level there have been a ton of other republicans . president obama named then republican governor jon huntsman to be ambassador to china. there was republican congressman john mchugh who president obama picked to be secretary of the army there was former republican congressman jim leach . president obama pimmed him for the national endowment of the humanity tis. anne northrup . republicans would love to make stick this idea that president obama is rabidly bipartisan and can never work with republicans . a lot of democrats would love it if president obama were a little more partisan than he is. but he is not. he is not that guy, which today is driving republicans crazy over this latest pick of chuck hagel . we will have more on that in a moment. but the question is should it drive democrats crazy that a democratic president is again, for the third time in 15 years picking a republican specifically for this one job, that is running the pentagon. should that drive democrats crazy that democrats do that all the time in terms of putting a republican in charge of the military, but a republican has never done that for a democrat? should that make democrats nuts? that's ahead. i need