Were there any compassionate Democrats out there to cheer up America's Accountant, Rep. Paul Ryan, after his plan to eliminate Medicare and replace it with health insurance "premium support" for old dying people won Democrats a conservative-district seat in last night's Gawker Election? Oh, just Bill Clinton.
Clinton caught Paul Ryan backstage at this morning's Pete Peterson Foundation forum on the national debt, a gathering of die-hard deficit hawks and associated monsters. ABC News has coverage their brief conversation, which you can check out in the clip. They speak like the oldest of friends:
"So anyway, I told them before you got here, I said I'm glad we won this race in New York," Clinton told Ryan, when the two met backstage at a forum on the national debt held by the Pete Peterson Foundation. But he added, "I hope Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing."
Ryan told Clinton he fears that now nothing will get done in Washington.
"My guess is it's going to sink into paralysis is what's going to happen. And you know the math. It's just, I mean, we knew we were putting ourselves out there. You gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving," Ryan said.
Clinton told Ryan that if he ever wanted to talk about it, he should "give me a call." Ryan said he would.
Ooh, a call. Top secret senior Beltway insider pundit-reporter gurus tell us: they're dating but haven't had "the talk" about going steady yet.
It's interesting to hear this from Bill Clinton, whose well-managed stand against Newt Gingrich's (much less severe) Medicare cuts in 1995 helped him save his presidency and win a second term.