Bill Clinton can save the Democrats — and the Obama presidency!

If Senate Democrats were immobilized by the obstruction of filibuster when they had 60 votes, and had to leave town like Steve McQueen driving the getaway car, unable to pass jobless benefits before the Fourth of July, imagine what will happen when the next Congress convenes with fewer Democratic senators and Republicans become even more obstructionist as the 2012 campaign begins in January 2011!

It is time for Democrats to play the Clinton card. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most popular national political leader in either party right now. Former President Bill Clinton is the one national Democratic leader who can campaign in 50 states, rally the Democratic base, appeal to moderates and campaign in Southern states, border states and Midwestern states with real clout.

The president and various Democrats can do some of these things. Only Bill Clinton can do all of them, with a message that will resonate with unhappy voters, which is this:

"Don't let them tell you that you can't create jobs and grow the national economy and balance the budget at the time same. It can be done. I did it for eight years in the White House. I did it because in those days, even with Republicans attacking me and Hillary every day, they would do business in ways Republicans today will not."

Bill Clinton can make the case that needs to be made. That there are ways to create jobs when Democrats are willing to lead and Republicans are willing to work in good faith for the nation. That there are ways to balance the budget when Democrats are willing to lead and Republicans are willing to work in good faith for the nation.

Bill Clinton can say, better than anyone, that President Obama has made every effort to work with Republicans, but they refuse. They obstruct. They filibuster. They do nothing. They say no to everything. This is why Democrats should be elected in November.

Republicans should be defeated, Bill Clinton can argue, because they will turn Washington into an even more gridlocked town. They will make it impossible to get anything done. They will do nothing but hire more staff at taxpayer expense to abuse Republican committees in Congress to create even more partisan warfare that Americans detest, instead of creating more American jobs that voters demand.

Only Bill Clinton can argue that he left the presidency as a Democrat with America at peace, the economy growing strong, the jobs created fast and the budget balanced completely.

Only Bill Clinton can argue with real credibility and clout that Obama has tried to do the very things Clinton succeeded in doing, but is under relentless partisan attack by the party of no, using tactics of filibuster that were begun by reactionary senators during the dark years of segregation, determined to destroy the president from the day he was inaugurated, determined to destroy any hope of progress because these Republicans have moved so far to the extreme right that the only way they know is the politics of obstruction and destruction.

Only Bill Clinton can carry this message for candidates in any state, in campaigns for the House and Senate: that voters should not reward Republicans who abuse power to obstruct progress on the issues that matter in the daily lives of the voters.

Only Bill Clinton can argue in all 50 states that electing Republicans in 2010 will have the same result that took America from the balanced budgets and growing jobs of the Democratic Bill Clinton years to the massive deficits and scandalized economy of the Republican George W. Bush years, which Republicans would bring right back if they win in November.

To Democrats, I say: Attacking John Boehner ain't gonna help. Most Americans react to Boehner attacking Obama, and Obama attacking Boehner, the way Rhett Butler reacted to Scarlet O'Hara: Franky, my dear, they don't give a damn. Voters want jobs, not name-calling.

When Pew Research finds that 54 percent of the nation believes America remains in recession, and the pain of joblessness spreads throughout the land, Democratic public relations about "recovery summer" is a very bad plan.

Democrats need Plan B, and Plan B is to bring in Daddy, the big gun who can argue with the credibility of history that Democrats are the party that creates jobs and balances budgets, while Republicans are the party that creates huge deficits and causes great recessions, which is what happened the last time they had power, only a few years ago.

This may be the only move that would cause the foaming at the mouth on the Republican right and the gnashing of teeth in the Obama White House. But it’s the best play in town to save Democrats in Congress and strengthen President Obama for reelection in 2012, and oh boy, it would be fun to watch.