Originally Posted by irvin88
Clinton said he wasn't ready to call Obama a 'great man'.
(CNN)– Former President Bill Clinton was hesitant to characterize Barack Obama as a "great man" Sunday, a phrase he had no qualms using last week to describe Obama's rival John McCain.
Clinton told NBC's Tom Brokaw that it was only earlier this month in Harlem that he and Obama had their "first conversation." He said he had spoken with Obama before, but only in passing.
Clinton then explained what he meant in characterizing McCain as a "great man."
"I think his greatness is that he keeps trying to come back to service without ever asking people to cut him any slack or feel sorry for him or any of that stuff because he was a POW," Clinton said of the Republican presidential nominee.
[View Full Quote]Clinton, who successfully ran his own 1992 presidential campaign on the now commonly used phrase "it's the economy, stupid," said that he believed the current economic crisis "left [Obama] in a position of leadership that he's now in."
Clinton said he thought Obama "saw and imagined" how the economic situation could develop.
"And I think that the rest of us should admire that. That's a big part of leadership, being able to sense, as well as see the future," he said.
I don't think there's anything wrong with that and I don't think that it's particularly damning either. McCain has a fantastic record of service to this country, both in the military and in politics. Obama is a newcomer, but that's not to say that his record couldn't grow into that of a "great man".
To use a football analogy, the "greats" are those who make a significant impact for many years. Your Elways, your Smiths, your Rices, your Taylors. Or, it comes from those who make a significant impact in the short time before their careers end, the Gale Sayers of the league.
Obama isn't a great man, but it doesn't mean that he can't be. Right now he's Tony Romo. The celebrity, the media darling, the one who is the most hated and the most loved. Like Romo, history has yet to define Obama.