Bill Clinton to Obama: Don't Be a Lame Duck

There’s nothing sadder than a president who just lets go, says the Big Dog.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton hugs Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. President Barack Obama (L) on stage during day two of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Barack Obama didn’t ask for a pep talk, but he just got one.

During a livestreamed question-and-answer session with Politico's Mike Allen in Little Rock, Ark., on Saturday, former President Bill Clinton encouraged Obama to push his agenda and not buy into the lame-duck myth.

“I never bought this whole lame-duck deal,” said Clinton, who is in Little Rock to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Center. “I just didn’t. I just think it’s a mindset.”

Clinton encouraged the president to “minimize the chance of being a lame duck” by “continuing to have an agenda and using the budget process to make deals with the Republicans, because now that they have both houses, they have a much greater vested interest in not just being against everything.”

He said he believes Obama can still pass immigration reform and tax reform.

Clinton's other advice: Keep having fun. He said there’s “nothing sadder” than someone who’s term-limited letting themselves go, likening the circumstances to those of an athlete who's getting older.

“It needs to be fun. It’s a great honor to work in the White House,” Clinton said. “It’s crazy to say you’re a lame duck and waste a single day of that precious time.”