Echoes of Clinton in Obama speech

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The similarities are striking: Sixteen years ago, another Democratic president stood in the same spot in the same month and addressed the nation on the same topic. Behind Bill Clinton sat a Democratic Speaker of the House and his vice president. It was the same Wednesday night with Barack Obama.

And a POLITICO analysis of the transcript of both speeches shows a striking similarity in the words used by both presidents.

Both presidents argued that the cost of doing nothing is higher than the cost of reform. Both made the point that people who like their health care can keep it under the new proposal. And both accused the other side of using “scare tactics.”

Both cited previous chief executives: Clinton mentioned Richard Nixon’s health care efforts, and Obama reached further back in history, name-checking Theodore Roosevelt.

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