Clinton still is impressive

It is easy to be disgusted with modern-day politicians – they reject compromise and seem to be willing to trade the good of the country for a momentary gain.

Then you are exposed again to a not-so-distant master political figure – say, Bill Clinton – and you are reminded again of the appeal and the romance of politics.

The former president appeared this week on the “Feherty” show on the Golf Channel. This week’s PGA tournament in Palm Springs, Calif., benefits the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton’s appearance with David Feherty should be required viewing for everyone who envisions himself as a politician (in the best sense of the word). Clinton had an eloquent, thoughtful explanation of his view of the world and one-time political opponents.

Whether it was referring to his predecessor in the Oval Office (George H.W. Bush) or his successor (George W. Bush), Clinton averred that while there were certainly political differences, both former presidents shared his view on curing ailments as wide as domestic poverty and AIDS in Africa.

He then went on to refer to both ex-presidents as “kind men” who are his friends and partners in trying to cure mankind’s ills.

Another telling moment in Feherty’s interview was when Clinton was asked about whether a president should ever talk with terrorists. While official U.S. policy has always been not to negotiate with terrorists, Clinton replied that he always asked his team, “Can I kill him tomorrow?”

In other words, Clinton was saying there are ways to gather needed information about what motivates terrorists before pulling the trigger. The ex-president believes that an informed politician can make good decisions without appearing weak.

In our view, Clinton’s rank as a very good president has increased every year since he left office.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.