Bill Clinton campaigning for … whom?

posted at 7:26 am on September 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this month, Barack Obama finally made the pilgrimage to Harlem to officially bow before the Temple of Clinton and ask for Bill’s assistance on the campaign trail.  After a brief meeting, an unusually terse Clinton said he would campaign for Obama in Florida and maybe a few other places.  Apparently that didn’t include CNBC, where the former president talked up … McCain and Palin?

Mr Clinton, acclaimed even by his enemies as one of the most consummate American politicians in recent history, said he did not agree with Republican vice presidential pick Mrs Palin on politics, but warned fellow Democrats not to underestimate her.

“She’s an instinctively effective candidate and with a compelling story,” Mr Clinton said in an interview with CNBC.

“I think it was exciting to some that she was a woman,” said Mr Clinton.

“I think she, I get why she’s done so well. It’s a mistake to underestimate her. She’s got good intuitive skills. They’re significant.”

Mr Clinton said he thought Republican presidential candidate John McCain, a Vietnam war hero and veteran lawmaker, was a “great man” and that the election on November 4 would be close, but he predicted Democrat Barack Obama would emerge triumphant.

That’s not exactly on message, Bill.  Democrats have spent the last three weeks attacking Palin’s intelligence, sanity, integrity, sexual ethics, and maternity.  They want to paint her as a country bumpkin unsuited for running a country. And they’ve managed to succeed a little in doing so, although she still beats Biden in favorability and in one poll topped Barack Obama on experience.

Instead, Bill decided to act more like a political analyst than … well, some of NBC’s own political analysts.  Can you imagine Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews saying anything like this on the air?  Olbermann would have canned a contributor for saying anything this gracious or this accurate.   Bill may be the only person on NBC’s cable shows to have called John McCain a “great man” in two years.

Was it all just graciousness?  Those who have watched the Clintons operate will be rightly skeptical.  Bill doesn’t have a lot of enthusiasm for Obama for at least one reason and likely two.  The first and least conspiratorial is that Obama hasn’t lifted a finger to help Hillary retire her campaign debt, leaving her holding the bag despite her efforts at the convention.  Second, and more conspiratorial, is that an Obama loss in this cycle leaves the field open for another Democrat to run in 2012 — and the buyer’s remorse the party will feel after an Obama failure can only help boost Hillary’s stock.

Update: Andrew Malcom says this is no accident.


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Comments

Don’t under estimate slick willy.

Browncoatone on September 19, 2008 at 7:28 AM

And they played “Addicted to Love” after Bill spoke at the convention.

jgapinoy on September 19, 2008 at 7:29 AM

…and they called Bill racist after his Jessuh-North Carolina analysis.

jgapinoy on September 19, 2008 at 7:30 AM

Oh yeah, the man has an agenda.

anniekc on September 19, 2008 at 7:31 AM

When Maria asked Bill about Sarah, did you notice how often he he paused & wistfully smiled during his favorable comments? It’s a good thing he didn’t drool.

jgapinoy on September 19, 2008 at 7:32 AM

“I think it was exciting to some that she was a woman,” said Mr Clinton.

Bingo!

KGB on September 19, 2008 at 7:35 AM

Watch out Bill, Oblabo will throw a lightning bolt at you.

Bishop on September 19, 2008 at 7:36 AM

Naaaahhhh… off the mark. Good ole’ alterior motive wild Bill is on board and pulling hard for his man Duh 1. Going and asking for Bill’s help was as great a move as his VP choice… uh er wait, let me check my notes… uh, I’m going to have to get back to you on that.

Hog Wild on September 19, 2008 at 7:41 AM

And all Palin had to do was say something nice about Hillary. Too late now, Obama.

Jim Treacher on September 19, 2008 at 7:46 AM

Bill has another reason for not liking Obama: the Obama camp accused him of racism during the primaries, when he made his remarks about Jesse Jackson having won the South Carolina primary too. Bill has always enjoyed his reputation as a friend to the black community (“America’s first black president”), and it really chapped his backside that Obama’s people were disparaging his credentials in that regard.

AZCoyote on September 19, 2008 at 7:47 AM

…but he predicted Democrat Barack Obama would emerge triumphant.

In a pig’s eye he does!

If there is just one thing Bubba Billy wants to see, he wants to see B.O. get thrown under the same bus B.O. has been throwing everyone else under since this campaign began.

Yeah Bubba Billy has a agenda.

And it is a dish best served cold.

pilamaye on September 19, 2008 at 7:49 AM

BJ. The creepy president.

saved on September 19, 2008 at 7:50 AM

“I think she, I get why she’s done so well. It’s a mistake to underestimate her. She’s got good intuitive skills. They’re significant. And besides, she’s hot…”

Fletch54 on September 19, 2008 at 7:51 AM

Love the picture of Bill and Hill – looks like they are doing a tipsy karaoke version of “I Got You Babe”.

tru2tx on September 19, 2008 at 7:52 AM

Clinton: This babe’s got mad skillz, if you know what I’m sayin’

fossten on September 19, 2008 at 7:54 AM

Earlier this month, Barack Obama finally made the pilgrimage to Harlem to officially bow before the Temple of Clinton and ask for Bill’s assistance on the campaign trail.

Hey Now. I serve one Lord and Saviour and that be Jesus Christ. Not Bill Clinton. So, watch it.

Thank you.

LibertarianConservative on September 19, 2008 at 7:54 AM

Bill is just daring Barry to throw him under the bus. In fact, I believe he is hoping for it. Then he can come out and really bash the ONE in the open.

Yoop on September 19, 2008 at 7:59 AM

Obama has actually made me like the Clintons. Now I hate him even more.

lodge on September 19, 2008 at 7:59 AM

Clinton has no use for women with strong moral values and husbands that can knock him into next Tuesday is he gets all Elvis with them.

Hening on September 19, 2008 at 8:02 AM

Is it me or did he just liken McCain to Abraham Lincoln and tell folks to vote for McCain?

And why can’t I help but think that when he appears to be “contemplating” her, he has dirty thoughts? He gets that piggy “mansmirk”. Yeccchhhhh!

bloggless on September 19, 2008 at 8:03 AM

I can only imagine just how PISSED Obama was when he heard this. Drip, Drip drip…there goes the Clinton supporters as they realize just how far left Obama is.

Team Obama, with dirty harry and the woman who will save the world and they know we all are going to get wacked. I believe the Clintons have looked at just how dirty the Obama cronies are and the Obama cronies scare them.

DVPTexFla on September 19, 2008 at 8:05 AM

One delightful aspect of this is that there is no one in the Dem party who can really tell Clinton to get with the program enthusiastically (except for Hillary, of course, and we know why she won’t-2012) or at least shut up. Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? Howard Dean? Jimmy Carter? Al Gore? He’d brush them off like lint.

Teddy Kennedy lost any influence with Clinton when he backed Obama, assuming he ever had any influence. Jackson pretty much called Clinton a racist, so Jackson would have to grovel to Clinton. And Jackson is on his way out as an influence in the Dem party; the new generation is taking over.

There is no one senior in the Dem party who can control Clinton, and they all know it. As long as he keeps up a facade of supporting Obama and occasionally campaigning for him, no one in the Dem party can accuse Clinton of being the spoilsport who helped the Dems lose 2008.

Wethal on September 19, 2008 at 8:06 AM

AZCoyote on September 19, 2008 at 7:47 AM

My comment at 7:30AM stands corrected–it was South Carolina.

jgapinoy on September 19, 2008 at 8:09 AM

Why should defend his democRAT party when they threw him and his wife under the bus? Bubba should have endorsed McCain.

jencab on September 19, 2008 at 8:13 AM

First Dude watch out!

try again later on September 19, 2008 at 8:20 AM

Can you say Palin70% Clinton30% in 2012?

Marines for Mccain on September 19, 2008 at 8:21 AM

Whuh? Republicans ended slavery? DUDE!!

Heads exploding across the democrat party.

SouthernGent on September 19, 2008 at 8:22 AM

“I think it was exciting to some that she was a woman,” said Mr Clinton.

“I know I, myself, was particularly excited; very excited indeed… veeeery excited… can I just sit here for a moment while I collect myself?” the former president went on to say.

Frozen Tex on September 19, 2008 at 8:28 AM

OBAMA CAMPAIGN LINKED TO HACKER

http://terryfrank.net/?p=3591

marklmail on September 19, 2008 at 8:35 AM

One word, Horndog!

Thank you

HoosierCon on September 19, 2008 at 8:44 AM

I think I’m experiencing a shadow of that hysteria felt by New York women – but it’s more because I’m happy about something Bill Clinton has done. My head may go kaplooey over the cognitive dissonance… or I’ll just sit back, and watch the other side’s heads explode first.

Anna on September 19, 2008 at 8:55 AM

With the Clinton’s, it’s all about get even.

tarpon on September 19, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Hey Bill watch out First Dude has guns!

pukara61 on September 19, 2008 at 9:04 AM

Ahh, Bubba, we knew you would come through for us.

InTheBellyoftheBeast on September 19, 2008 at 9:36 AM

That’s Bill Clinton as objective political observer. That’s the guy who loves politics. That’s not what the Obama campaign wants him to do, but it’s been an interesting political season already, and he probably just can’t help himself. It’s too much fun just to talk about it as it unfolds.

DrSteve on September 19, 2008 at 9:37 AM

The Clinton’s are walking a tight rope! They’re mad (and rightfully so). She would have been their best candidate. They want the DNC to know they’re mad. They want the American people to know they’re mad – especially the DEM voters. But they can’t throw a full-fledged fit because that would be bad form and they don’t want to alienate the current Obama supporters.

Believe me, they ARE hoping for an Obama defeat in November. I imagine they’ll be holed-up alone in their house with the drapes drawn just waiting to jump up and down if McCain wins. She will be campaigning November 5th.

Oink on September 19, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Years ago I was put on Bill Clinton’s email list and have never been able to get off. Recently I have been receiving emails from him asking for donations for Hillary but have never received anything promoting Obama. It appears to me that Hillary is still running for president and Bill is only giving lip service to Obama. These people are like mold; you can scrape it off from one place but it just shows up in another place.

rplat on September 19, 2008 at 9:43 AM

OMFG

best election evah..

now if only the prize was a giant stuffed animal rather than the most powerful position in the world..

DaveC on September 19, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Too funny Obama learns the “slight of hand….or in this case mouth” when speaking….you know the ability to cut deep without being responsible for what you say….the who me …I would never say that defense….You know like the lipstick thing….then his wife’s “She’s cute” comment….now here is what is funny…Obama learned this from the Master… Former President Clinton (news to the left that he isnt still President), and now B. Clinton uses the same method to endorse McCain…..I can hear Obamas people flipping out and B. Clinton Saying “who me, I would never”…Too funny!

GOPGryphon on September 19, 2008 at 9:44 AM

“I think it was exciting to some that she was a woman,” said Mr Clinton.

Does not compute. What’s he saying here, that Gov.Palin was a woman (past tense)so now she must be something else?

News2Use on September 19, 2008 at 9:51 AM

NOBODY, not even the Chosen One stands between a Clinton and money. Guess Barry’s check bounced. Can hardly wait for the next Clinton campaign appearance for Barry.

Hahahahahahahaha!

GarandFan on September 19, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Bill just wants a meeting someday in the hallway of the Oval Office with the Barracuda to discuss ‘foreign policy’.

Badger40 on September 19, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Bill played the good soldier for Hillary and she got her chance. As the more pragmatic and centrist of the family, he might think its time to play elder statesman, and redeem his legacy with the center and independents. Plus if he doesn’t have to worry about 2012, he can spend more time with his favorite pursuit, Tail…

phreshone on September 19, 2008 at 10:15 AM

You can believe that Bubba is doing everything possible to insure a Obama loss! He wants The One to be POTUS less than even Republicans. He has been uncharacteristically silent during this whole time and leaving the convention right after his speech spoke volumes about his dislike of the Messiah.

flytier on September 19, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Barack should have paid her $20 million debt.

danking70 on September 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM

THe snake is making a slick move on the Barracuda…

CynicalOptimist on September 19, 2008 at 10:40 AM

When Bubba popped out of the womb, he said, “Ok, that’s done. Now, where are the women and how do I get to the White House?”

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 10:40 AM

This could’ve been the most honest interview that Clinton has ever given. Honesty is not a trait well received by the democratic masses. Since Obama is in the process of fighting the truth with lies and innuendos it will be intersting to see if truth has any meaning in this country anymore.

volsense on September 19, 2008 at 10:43 AM

OMFG
DaveC on September 19, 2008 at 9:43 AM

I’m no prude, but really, Dave…

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 10:43 AM

If you watch the interview, when Maria asks Willy about Sarah, he stops talking and seems to go off into a dreamy fantasy. Maria’s just sitting there probably feeling kind dirty and creepy…

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 10:46 AM

I’m sorry.. but it was the first thing that popped into my head when I read this..

frackin is what I thought.. if it helps :)

(i have two young kids and it’s a challenge not to swear… if i end up washing a mouth out with soap, it will be my fault.)

DaveC on September 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Umm he did say that Ubama will win though…

SaintOlaf on September 19, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Hey everybody,

Would Obama stoop as low to ask Hillary to replace Biden?

And if so, would Hillary accept it?

I think she is looking forward to 2012.

Any other opinions on this?

Sapwolf on September 19, 2008 at 11:17 AM

The Andrew Malcom article is a good read too. I especially love the pic accompanying the article with Hillary and Obama sitting in chairs and leaning away from each other as much as humanly possible. Hillary and Bill will be no help to BO.

HawaiiLwyr on September 19, 2008 at 11:23 AM

DaveC on September 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Thanks Dave. I guess I’m the potty mouth (mind). Frackin’ never occured to me :-)

BTW: If you are referring to Battlestar Galactica, they have overused frack to the point where it really bugs me. Every other sentence has frack in it. I know they want to appear realistic, but could they just have some meaningful dialogue for a change? Between that and their obsession worshiping “the Gods”, that show went downhill for me.

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Sapwolf on September 19, 2008 at 11:17 AM

He can’t. To admit that The One made the wrong choice to begin with, would destroy his campaign. Even with Cankles on the ticket. She is more qualified than him and he would be viewed as a puppet being manipulated by the Clinton’s.

csdeven on September 19, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Any other opinions on this?

Sapwolf on September 19, 2008 at 11:17 AM

1) Michelle would never allow it.

2) Between Bill and Hillary, they will let Obama rot first. They are counting on Maverick being miserable through one term and then try to beat whomever tries to run in ’12.

3) As long as the race remains close, Obama will stand pat.

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 11:29 AM

csdeven on September 19, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Excellent point. I’ll add that to my list as 4).

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Earlier this month, Barack Obama finally made the pilgrimage to Harlem to officially bow before the Temple of Clinton and ask for Bill’s assistance on the campaign trail.

Hey Now. I serve one Lord and Saviour and that be Jesus Christ. Not Bill Clinton. So, watch it.

Thank you.

LibertarianConservative on September 19, 2008 at 7:54 AM

Unless your name is Obama or Clinton what does that statement have to do with you or who you serve?

baldilocks on September 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM

And I think the CNBC interview pretty much puts the icing on the cake of the “replacement” rumor.

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 11:32 AM

Even when BClinton is helping our side….I still don’t like him.

Doug on September 19, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Even when BClinton is helping our side….I still don’t like him.

Doug on September 19, 2008 at 11:45 AM

I know. I was telling my wife about the interview on the way to work and she said, “You’re not gonna make me like him are you?” ;-)

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 11:51 AM

I trust slick Willy about as much as I trust Russia!

christene on September 19, 2008 at 11:59 AM

DaveC on September 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Thanks Dave. I guess I’m the potty mouth (mind). Frackin’ never occured to me :-)

BTW: If you are referring to Battlestar Galactica, they have overused frack to the point where it really bugs me. Every other sentence has frack in it. I know they want to appear realistic, but could they just have some meaningful dialogue for a change? Between that and their obsession worshiping “the Gods”, that show went downhill for me.

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Mr_Magoo:

Yeah, I feel your pain, as it were (the is a thread about Bill Clinton after all). I think the Cylons being monothesists and in the beginning using “its God’s plan” that we destroy humanity was a not too subtle swipe at Christians and Jews, Christians mostly, and rubbed me the wrong way. I kept watching it as the acting is good. We’ll see how it plays out now that they have found Earth.

Bubba Redneck on September 19, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Say what you will about Bill Clinton, the man is a master politician. It’s going to be fun watching him pretend to “support” Obama, while in the meantime using the old Jedi mind trick to dismantle his campaign. Remember: This was the guy who dragged a nation into a debate over what the definition of the word “is” is. :)

Dagnar on September 19, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Heh.

powerpro on September 19, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Time to discard the drop Biden meme, such a move would sink Barry so badly the job description on his resume would have to be “boat anchor”.

irongrampa on September 19, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Let’s just say…Billy Jeff likes thye cut of her jib !

O! shoulda written that check for Hillz debt along time ago…

RocketmanBob on September 19, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Olbermann and Madcow seem unable to find ANYTHING to criticize about Obama, except that he isn’t socialist enough.

Speedwagon82 on September 19, 2008 at 2:30 PM

the old Jedi mind trick

“You don’t need to vote for this guy. Just an empty suit. Nothing to see here. Move along to 2012.”

Mr_Magoo on September 19, 2008 at 2:46 PM

You really can’t get the whole picture from reading quotes or a transcript. I watched it and something that really jumps out at the viewer is that Bill’s enthusiasm when talking about OBiden is at about one, almost to the point of dis-interest, while when talking about McCain, and especially Palin, Bill’s old entusiasm meter jumps to about 7.5 for McCain, about an 11 for Palin. Granted, Palin being a babe can only help her with Bill, but the way he spoke about her was glowing in some ways. Money line of the interview: (not an exact quote, more of a paraphrase)

“She comes from a culture that’s a little more to the right than mainstream America, but, at the same time, she isn’t comming in here and trying to force those views on others.”

Kinda undercuts the usual dreck the womyn and other goofball lefties fling at Sarah Palin, doesn’t it?

SuperCool on September 19, 2008 at 3:39 PM

How can you rule out an “October surprise”? If putting Hill on the ticket means a win in November, I am sure they will be able to work it out. The dems are determined to win this election no matter what it takes.
It’s obvious there is no love between the Clintons and Obamas, but I can see them cutting a deal to win the election. I just don’t think you can totally rule out the possibility of them dumping biden for hillary.

Twoconservative on September 19, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Bill is still pissed.

Terrye on September 19, 2008 at 5:21 PM

(i have two young kids and it’s a challenge not to swear… if i end up washing a mouth out with soap, it will be my fault.)
 
DaveC on September 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM

 
Ha! Reminds me of a story my old roommate told me once. She grew up in New York (Queens). Her dad, apparently a volatile chap, used to swear a blue streak at the traffic. He cleaned up his act fast when one day his sweet little 3-year-old daughter (my roommate’s sister) said innocently, “Daddy, look at all the f***ing cars!”
 
:lol:

Mary in LA on September 19, 2008 at 6:45 PM

Bubba knows the score. The only way he’s going to get Hillary another shot at the White House and on the road where she’s not spending the bulk of her time in his grill before 2016 is to make sure Obama isn’t in office in 2009. The Clinton “I told you so” Victory Tour of 2012 begins in 2010, after she cons most of my fellow New Yorkers into re-electing her because she’s going to SERVE as Senator, and SURELY NOT run for President (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Anyone ELSE see this coming?

52Ranger on September 19, 2008 at 8:06 PM

Was it all just graciousness? Those who have watched the Clintons operate will be rightly skeptical.

Why don’t you look at Clinton’s record over his 8 years in the White House. I don’t recall a time when Clinton’s main political message was based on personal attacks of his opponents on Capitol Hill, with the exception of the political operatives and their allies who were focused on bringing down his Presidency over Monica.

Look at the positive things Clinton said about Dole in the ’94 election. Clinton made a very similar case- acknowledging Dole’s status as a great war hero yet insisting that Dole wasn’t the right man to lead the country. People are reading far too much into his more recent statement.

bayam on September 19, 2008 at 8:07 PM