They’re baaaaa-aaaaack. The Clintons have begun to use Joe Biden’s meltdown to press their way back to relevance, Politico’s Playbook reports this morning, although this time it’s the Big Dog that’s barking … quietly, for now. The quiet might not last too long, though:
CAN THE CLINTONS CLAW BACK TO RELEVANCE? — With the Democratic Party on course for a devastating midterm election and party elder statesmen stepping in to help, people close to BILL and HILLARY CLINTON said the former first couple sees it as an opportunity to insert themselves back into political life.
The intra-party divisions have given them a chance to flex their centrist, dealmaking brand of politics as a way to move the party forward.
Wait — wasn’t that Joe Biden’s pitch to voters in 2020? That he could bring a centrist, deal-making approach to curtail the hyper-partisanship of the Donald Trump era? With that said, Bill Clinton at least has more of a track record in that regard than Biden ever had. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand … well, we’ll get to that in a moment.
Bill Clinton has relished the opportunity to whip on behalf of the White House. In addition to pressing Manchin on the filibuster, Clinton suggested that he should salvage Build Back Better by zeroing in on the few elements the West Virginia senator really wants.
“I told Joe, ‘Break it up, pick one or two [pieces] you can swallow and then run on the rest,’” Clinton recalled of their phone call, a person with knowledge of the conversation told Playbook. The idea is drawing interest among party leadership.
Actually, Biden and Democratic leadership already did that. The bipartisan infrastructure bill (BIF) resulted from splitting off the broadly popular portions of the original reconciliation package, which is how it got enough Republican support to pass. Joe Manchin himself has advocated for stripping the BBB further so that its true ten-year costs don’t run any higher than $1.8 trillion to match its revenue increases (taxes, fees, etc). Progressives are the ones balking at the prospect of program cuts, not Manchin. Clinton’s preaching to the wrong choir in that aspect.
And this seems, well … very Big Dog-esque:
Clinton also spoke with Sinema recently, according to one of the people familiar with the call, and said afterward, “I don’t know her, but I like her.”
I bet he does.
But this isn’t about Bill Clinton. It’s about promoting Hillary Clinton again as the 2024 alternative to a clearly incompetent team of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The Clintons have already begun the whisper campaign for a Hillary comeback, even though she’s even more politically brittle in her progressive tilt than Biden was a year ago. At the very least, it’s an attempt to revive the grift:
At the same time, multiple people tell me and Daniel Lippman that the Clinton Global Initiative is strongly considering bringing back its annual star-studded confab scheduled around the U.N. General Assembly. Amid questions about conflicts of interest, CGI announced in 2016 that it would be holding its last annual conference.
The following year, Bill Clinton symbolically handed off the event to MIKE BLOOMBERG, who launched the “Bloomberg Global Business Forum.” Those close to the Clintons say that CGI lost its relevance without its biggest event. Now people familiar with the Clintons’ thinking said they are close to making a final decision on whether to bring back the annual meeting in September.
In that sense, it won’t matter that Hillary will have lost an election that was practically gift-wrapped for her in 2016 in both the primary and general election. Nor will it matter that she’ll be 77 years old at the time of the 2024 election. Even if it looks like she might run, the Clintons can once again turn on the spigots of influence and rebuild their clout and their prestige all over again, and with it attempt yet another takeover of the Democratic establishment.
Repeat after me … Chelsea 2028!