There’s no way this isn’t a shot at Hillary, right? A communicator as savvy as Bill can’t be oblivious to the fact that he’s stating the single most widely shared criticism of his wife’s candidacy here, that it had no message beyond “Trump is unfit” and “It’s her turn.” In fact, early on Team Hillary reportedly considered “It’s her turn” as a rallying cry for the campaign because “The candidate herself could not articulate vision for why she wanted to be president in calls and internal meetings with her staff.”
Imagine that. At a moment when the country was retching at the possibility of another Bush/Clinton election, Team Hillary was toying with making dynasticism the overt raison d’etre for her project.
There’s reason to believe her aimless messaging was a particular sore spot for Bill, too. Remember this story published two days after the election?
[S]ome began pointing fingers at the young campaign manager, Robby Mook, who spearheaded a strategy supported by the senior campaign team that included only limited outreach to [downscale white] voters — a theory of the case that Bill Clinton had railed against for months, wondering aloud at meetings why the campaign was not making more of an attempt to even ask that population for its votes. It’s not that there was none: Clinton’s post-convention bus tour took her through Youngstown, Ohio, as well as Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, where she tried to eat into Trump’s margins with his base. In Scranton and Harrisburg, the campaign aired a commercial that featured a David Letterman clip of Trump admitting to outsourcing manufacturing of the products and clothes that bore his logo. And at campaign stops in Ohio, Clinton talked about Trump’s reliance on Chinese steel.
But in general, Bill Clinton’s viewpoint of fighting for the working class white voters was often dismissed with a hand wave by senior members of the team as a personal vendetta to win back the voters who elected him, from a talented but aging politician who simply refused to accept the new Democratic map. At a meeting ahead of the convention at which aides presented to both Clintons the “Stronger Together” framework for the general election, senior strategist Joel Benenson told the former president bluntly that the voters from West Virginia were never coming back to his party.
“I would have had a reason for running or I wouldn’t have run” said a Clinton campaign “top aide” to the authors of the tell-all book “Shattered.” I wonder who that “top aide” was.
Hard not to wonder what the current state of the Bill/Hillary relationship is if he would take a dig at her this obvious in a setting this prominent, sitting across from Dubya at the Bush presidential library. He sure seemed to be enjoying himself!
— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) July 14, 2017
Bill wasn’t the only POTUS emeritus willing to swipe at a leader from his own party yesterday either. Pretty clear who Dubya’s answer was aimed at, no?