It looks like Hillary Clinton’s campaign is turning into a real family affair, as both Chelsea and Bill Clinton are now getting more involved. The younger Clinton’s entry into the campaign isn’t a real surprise, because it’s been known for several weeks she’d start headlining events in January. But it looks like Hillary Clinton is really hoping Bill Clinton will put her over the top in states like Iowa and South Carolina because she considers him a “secret weapon.” Via The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Clinton is a revered figure in Democratic circles and was a key surrogate for Mr. Obama in his 2012 re-election bid. A survey conducted in part by The Wall Street Journal last year said he was by a margin of more than 2 to 1 the most admired president of the past quarter century.
Marc Lasry, a friend of Mr. Clinton’s and head of New York hedge fund firm Avenue Capital Group, said: “President Clinton campaigning for Hillary is a huge asset. People love seeing him and he’s able to explain things to people in a way that’s unique.”
Bill Clinton’s popularity is no joke, he does know how to play a room and get along with everyone. One thing screenwriter Mark Hughes wrote at Quora is how Clinton uses his charisma to make people feel important (or manipulate them) to get done what he thinks needs to get done. Clinton is a smart guy, even if his personal history and political stances are questionable at best (and that’s being way too nice). The way he made President Barack Obama basically walk off the podium in 2010 shows how he’s able to take over a news conference and draw people in. Even Politico noted Obama was completely outmatched by Bill Clinton’s presence.
But even before Obama left Clinton alone, the former president was the center of attention. One of the cable television shots had completely blocked Obama out, even as he stood by Clinton’s side, his arms crossed, nodding occasionally while his predecessor delved into his thinking on the tax cuts compromise.
This is actually pretty important when it comes to 2016. The New York Times noted in 2008 Bill and Hillary Clinton’s staffs didn’t really get along.
Aides to Mrs. Clinton took umbrage at Mr. Clinton’s freelancing and deemed his office uncooperative — at one point, they complained, his people would not allow one of her people to ride on his plane to campaign stops. His aides, on the other hand, stewed over what they saw as her people’s disregard for the advice of one of this generation’s great political minds and bristled at surrendering control of his schedule.
The squabbling got so bad that it spilled into public view. “This makes me sick,” Robert B. Barnett, Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer and debate coach, wrote in an e-mail message to top campaign advisers, according to someone who read it. “My message is simple: Stop it, please.”
So Bill Clinton’s involvement in Hillary Clinton’s campaign is probably going to be a double-edged sword that hurts more than helps. But it really depends on the competition, and if “Feel the Bern” is a repeat of “Hope and Change” (the faces are different but the message is the similar). Hillary Clinton may have to trot out Bill Clinton on a regular basis in hopes of getting people riled up more. The problem is Bill Clinton isn’t running for president, it’s all on Hillary Clinton. Her charisma isn’t the same as her husband’s and never will be. It means the GOP can take advantage of this IF they select the right candidate. If it’s someone who has more charisma than Jeb Bush, with ideas which are starkly different from Hillary Clinton’s (and someone who promotes freedom, liberty, less government, and possibly a more non-interventionist foreign policy), then it’s possible they can win. If it’s someone who is just a retread of previous candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney, then it’s doubtful the GOP will win (the recent CNN/ORC poll had everything within the margin of error, but they only talked to about a thousand potential voters). The game of politics is always a crapshoot, especially this early. Nothing is guaranteed until the votes get cast and counted, which won’t happen for another 11 months.
But, hey, if Bill Clinton is going to take over the Hillary Clinton campaign then maybe we’ll get more SNL videos with Darrell Hammond.
That will at least kick up the entertainment factor a bit (and possibly make SNL watchable again). Now if only they can bring back Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin to do Weekend Update.