The next impeachment club? Biden lunches with Bill Clinton – who battled House Republicans to win a second term – just days after dining with Obama
President Joe Biden lunched Monday with former President Bill Clinton – who contended with the Republican congressional takeover in 1994, fought his way to reelection and survived an impeachment.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the meeting Monday, days after both men gave eulogies at services for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Biden also lunched last week with former President Barack Obama, Psaki revealed. Obama had made his return to the White House just weeks ago to mark ten years since he signed the Affordable Care Act. Obama during his tenure had to contend with the House GOP takeover in the Tea Party wave of 2010.
The lunch put Biden across the table from one of the Democratic Party’s most celebrated strategists and communicators – even if his policies and personal issues left Clinton contending with what his wife Hillary Clinton called a ‘vast right-wing conspiracy.’
US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former president Bill Clinton chat before the start of a memorial service for US Senator Robert Byrd on July 2, 2010 at the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia. Biden had lunch with Clinton on Monday, the White House confirmed
‘I’m sure they will have a broad conversation,’ said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Clinton won election in 1992 with just 43 per cent of the vote with Ross Perot on the ballot. Biden’s current popularity is in that range – but he is now confronting a series of headwinds, some with parallels to Clintons.
House Republicans are girding to try to seize control of the House, and they have structural advantages that might get them there – although anew poll Washington Post / ABC News poll had the public favoring Democrats over Republicans by 46 to 45 per cent.
GOP lawmakers have already crowed about seizing control of the chamber’s investigative machinery.
Colorado Rep. Ken Buck said last week that the GOP would hold impeachment hearings on Biden if they gain control.
Biden lunched with Obama last week, Psaki said. Obama was at the White House in early April to celebrate the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act
US President Joe Biden (L) and former US President Barack Obama (R) attend the funeral service of Madeleine Albright at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, USA, 27 April 2022
Clinton survived impeachment and Democrats picked up seats after the House voted to impeach him in 1998
‘It’s a good question. It’s a fair question,’ Buck said when asked about it at a town hall. ‘I sit on the Judiciary Committee. We will hold the hearings to determine whether impeachment is appropriate. We’ll vote on impeachment. And then it will be presented to the full House.’
That could vault issues such as the border crisis and legal problems surrounding Biden’s son Hunter to a new level.
Psaki spoke after the Washington Post reported on the lunch.
Biden has spoken of his own strategy that aides called ‘triangulation’ to run agains the House GOP – where many of his tormentors during the Monica Lewinsky scandal turned out to have infidelity issues of their own.
Clinton famously ran against the Republicans in 1998, and Democrats broke historical odds to pick up five House seats just weeks after the House voted to impeach him.
Clinton was regularly on the stump for Hillary Clinton when she ran against Obama in the 2008 primary, but has been less visible lately.
He failed to predict the GOP comeback in 2010, when he was asked on NBC’s Meet the Press about Hillary’s ‘conspiracy’ comment and if it was still present.
‘Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was,’ he said.
‘I mean, they’re saying things about him [Obama] — you know, it’s like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did,’ he said in reference to the Vince Foster conspiracy theory.
He said it was ‘not really goo for the Republicans or the country,’ saying there was ‘no way’ 2010 would be like the 1994 takeover. ‘Whatever happens, it’ll be manageable for our president,’ he predicted.