Bill Clinton’s long game for Hillary

posted at 6:46 pm on October 27, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Is there some sort of mystery behind the new found love festival going on between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama? I mean, he’s an ex-president from the same party as the current White House occupant. Ostensibly they should share the same general vision for the country. It’s not like he’s going to vote for Romney, so clearly he’d be supporting Obama, right?

That sounds fairly obvious, but should it be this enthusiastic? They had their share of spats during the 2008 Democratic primary, and things got rather testy at times. Are those woulds fully healed by now? That’s the question Dana Milbank tackles this weekend. What’s up with the bromance?

How to explain this budding “bromance,” as first lady Michelle Obama puts it, between her husband and Bill Clinton?

The 44th president and the 42nd president are indeed having a whirlwind affair in the closing days of the campaign. President Obama takes Clinton on three campaign stops next week, stopping in Orlando, Youngstown, Ohio, and Northern Virginia to kick off the last full week of the race.

Apparently some are seeing the shadow of Hillary on the wall here.

Sen. John McCain floated a theory last week about the bromance. The Arizona Republican, in a conference call for the Romney campaign Tuesday, told reporters that there are “some that think this may have a lot to do with 2016 and the president’s wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Of course, I would never suspicion such a thing, but there are some real jerks around who think that might be the case.”

I am one of those jerks. I don’t subscribe to the prevailing theory that Clinton’s efforts to boost Obama are about solidifying his own legacy. Clinton is a shrewd strategist, and he surely must have grasped that it is highly unlikely that Hillary Clinton, or any other Democrat, will win in 2016 if Obama does not win in 2012.

Milbank is hardly the first to toss out this theory, but it depends on the assumption that the US economy is on the way back, albeit rather slowly at the moment. Under this scenario, no matter who is president for the next four years, the economy will fight its way back as it’s always done after receiving a stiff body blow. It may be faster under Romney or slower under Obama, but the general outlook will be better either way in 2016 than it is now. And whoever holds the keys of power in the White House is going to get to take credit for it.

If you sign on for that set of assumptions, as Milbank explains it, then another logical one follows. If Mitt Romney wins the election next week, he’s going to have a pretty easy glide path for a second term. If, conversely, Obama wins, he will credit his policies with the reviving economy and whoever the Democrats nominate next should be the beneficiary of that good will among the voters.

But wait… Hillary isn’t interested in working any more, is she?

Hillary Clinton continues to deny interest in another run, but she is already inching away from a similar vow that she would not serve as secretary of state in a second Obama term. “A lot of people have talked to me about staying,” she told the Wall Street Journal in a recent interview.

This could give her time to repair any damage to her reputation caused by security lapses that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Her longtime aide in charge of protecting her image, Philippe Reines, has engaged in a series of high-profile squabbles with media outlets recently, which is more suggestive of an aspiring candidate than of a retiring diplomat.

Her campaign theme is already being prepared by her husband, who is establishing that the expansion of the next four years will be attributable to Clintonian methods. “We created 22 million new jobs and turned deficits into surpluses,” Clinton says in his new ad for Obama. “President Obama’s got it right. We should invest in the middle class, education and innovation, and pay down our debt with spending restraint and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. Sound familiar?”

I’m still not sure about this one. It’s fairly easy to write this off as some political parlor games in the closing days of the campaign, as we all wait for it to finally be over. And I’m still not sure how much I buy the idea that Hillary is ready for another shot at the brass ring, particularly in 2016 when she will be 69 years old. But then again, if anyone should know it would be Bill. (Assuming he’s not still sleeping on the couch.) I’ll leave the call on this one up to you.

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Comment pages: 1 2

No, I think we’re far from rid of the Clintons.

Shump on October 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM

My suspicion as well.

They are both entirely too devious and power-hungry to ever be satisfied with what they have already. Isn’t that why Bill is still running around trying to remain relevant and in the limelight?

Too many people I know still have a rock-star jones about him and are too bedazzled to see him for the creep that he is (putting it mildly, I know). That is a problem.

PatriotGal2257 on October 27, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Hillary can’t do the POTUS job. She’s running out of energy and while she may be the most popular female in American politics, she still owns SOS and her guys were murdered. She did nothing to get them help; she kowtowed to the Muslims; she has no backbone; and frankly, I think her day is past.

Letting your staff get murdered when you could have sent help (forget the chain of command stuff – when in desperate situations, jus DO IT). She has shown that life means nothing to her, nothing.

Her chance was 2008. She lost.

MN J on October 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Personally I wonder if they’re not just both insane and power’s the ultimate aphrodisiac.

Cleombrotus on October 27, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Hillary/Michelle 2016!

Urrrgh…I just threw up in my mouth a litle. Sorry!

Kenz on October 28, 2012 at 12:51 AM

Nobody is going to want this washed up witch around in 2016. She has been tainted with this Libya situation. If she really wanted people to think better of her, she should have resigned, as it stands now she is in the cockpit with Captain Chicago as the plane plummets toward the ground. This isn’t going to end well for anybody on board. You should have bailed out Hilliary, too late now. You’re toast

stormridercx4 on October 28, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Benghazi put the stake through Hillary’s ambitious little (very…) heart.

profitsbeard on October 28, 2012 at 2:29 AM

Clinton is trying to keep Hillary’s options open – he probably wants to return to the White House more than she does. But it also helps repair his own legacy: 2008 saw him not only failing to win her the nomination, but also being accused of being racist! That had to sting for the guy described in his own term as “the first black President.”

The reality is that she won’t be viable in 2016 no matter who wins. If Obama wins, his far left ideology and extralegal micromanagement guarantees a return to recession. Romney probably can’t avoid a recession either, but by slashing the budget and rescinding regulations, he can encourage businesses and investment funds to put back to use the $3 trillion or more of their capital now on the sidelines out of fear of Obama. That will provide enough genuine stimulus to set up a Reaganesque 2015-16.

Either way, no one will be calling for Hillary. But hey, there is always 2020 – it’s not like the Democrats have a big bench of talent, and top contender Andrew Cuomo is likely to be the sacrificial lamb in 2016.

Adjoran on October 28, 2012 at 3:25 AM

The Clintons want that address of 1600 so bad they will do most anything to get it. Do some research on the Clintons and you will be shocked into reality. There are plenty of authors who came out of the woodwork after they left Office. Thirteen of Bill Clintons bodyguards died, probably because they knew too much. He also pardoned 140 criminals the day before he left the White House. Do you seriously want this man to return there?

mixplix on October 28, 2012 at 4:08 AM

After helping sacrifice 3 heroes and a Democrat ambassador, Hillary is toast.

Anyone associated with this murder for politics will be outed and vilified and their families will slink about in shame (except for Clinton, who apparently did not get that gene from his hobo father).

Lonetown on October 28, 2012 at 5:31 AM

Enough of the Clintons, please… they’ve done more than enough damage…

Khun Joe on October 28, 2012 at 7:42 AM

she will be 69 years old.

I think it is a certainty she will run.

She has been staying as far away from the SCOAMF as possible for precisely that reason.

CorporatePiggy on October 28, 2012 at 7:54 AM

In 2016, I can imagine Secretary of State Clinton being asked about Benghazi: “Do you think taking responsibility about Benghazi will hurt your chances as President?”

Hillary: “I would rather be right about Benghazi than President.”

(To paraphrase Calvin Coolidge) Madam Secretary need not concern herself. She will be neither.

BigAlSouth on October 28, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Barry Obama is a 100% media creation. Why would anyone think that Shrillary couldn’t be re-created by the media and all of her past crimes simply vanish into “old news” and “vast right-wing conspiracies”. The hardest part of her running in 2016 will be hiding the fact that she’s a vomitously ugly 69 year old hag. Hard to hide even behind thick layers of media whitewash.

swinia sutki on October 28, 2012 at 9:34 AM

I dunno…
Billy can trot out Monica for the Porn vote.
Shrillary is good for the Seahag vote.
Chelsie is good for ????

dirtengineer on October 28, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Barry Obama is a 100% media creation. Why would anyone think that Shrillary couldn’t be re-created by the media and all of her past crimes simply vanish into “old news” and “vast right-wing conspiracies”.

swinia sutki on October 28, 2012 at 9:34 AM

This ^

I think many in the media are insane as well. Especially at the upper echelons. Those below are just keeping their jobs, perks, and influence. But they sell their souls to do so.

Cleombrotus on October 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Nobody is going to want this washed up witch around in 2016. She has been tainted with this Libya situation.

totally agree. on October 28, 2012 at 10:33 AM

But they sell their souls to do so.

Cleombrotus on October 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM

That’s why they are called “prestitutes”. At the end of the day, a little soap and water and their souls are clean and fresh and ready to sell again.

swinia sutki on October 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Bill’s decision to go all in at the DNC for O was a calculated move to remind everyone how awesome he and Hillary are, it set the stage perfectly for Hillary 2016 (win or lose)

I honestly don’t think he cared either way about who won in 2012

Bill tipped his hand a few times, like when he said Mitt more than crossed the treshhold to be qualified for POTUS. I got the sneaking suspicion he grudgingly respected Mitt and thought he would do a competent job

But Benghazigate happened and now if Hillary goes out with this massive taint on her record, it will leave a horrible lingering taste for 4 years and effectively kill the Clinton legacy forever

They’re now in panic mode. They need Barry to win another term

That’s why you hear Hillary openly talking about continuing at SoS, when she adamantly said she would only serve 4 or less years. She is panicking about ending on this note and Benghazigate destroying her legacy

Also don’t forget– Lewinsky is going to drop her tell all book soon too. I think this will be the final nail in the coffin of the Clinton vampires.

People forget what a dirtbag Bill was, they just have this rosy memory of the 90s. This book will be a rude reminder of all the disgusting parts of his legacy that conveniently have been forgotten

thurman on October 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Long game? Sorry, Bill, but the only thing that’s long is Hillary, and politically, she’s long in the tooth. She’ll be pushing 70. This generation of pols are being taken over by the Rubios, Ryans, and Cuomos. And who’s to say that things will be rosy if Obama wins again? Think ObamaCare, by then in full swing. Think 4 more years of trillion-dollar deficits. Think of a world more dangerous than it is now, a hobbled military due to a “peace dividend”, and a good chance of a nuclear Iran. It won’t be all “cold beer and chewy jerky” for the next Dem if Obama pulls off a second term.

tpitman on October 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Sorry, but she is already looking worn and tired, and now fat, too. There is no way she’s going to look better in four years at 69 years old. I hate to say it but America is superficial that way.

Queen0fCups on October 28, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Hillary 2016 kicks off November 7. Never underestimate the political ambition of a Clinton.

ConservativeLA on October 28, 2012 at 6:26 PM

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