Is Bill helping Hillary?
Bill Clinton says Hillary Clinton is more experienced than Barack Obama, said Richard Cohen in The Washington Post, but that only ties her more to the status quo. Obama has an ability to look within, said David Brooks in The New York Times, and that might
Bill Clinton has taken on the job of stressing Hillary Clinton’s experience in campaign speeches and questioning that of Barack Obama, her main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Chicago Tribune) In a TV interview with Charlie Rose last week, Bill Clinton asked, “When was the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?” (ABCNews.com)
What the commentators said
Bill Clinton doesn’t seem to be concerned that he could be hurting his wife’s “presidential prospects,” said Noam Scheiber in The New Republic’s The Stump blog. “The former president is more concerned with demonstrating his loyalty to Hillary than with getting her elected president.” At least that way if she loses she’ll know he’s “her most fearless, dogged defender.”
Bubba is serving as a constant reminder that “the Clintons will say anything,” said Debra Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle. He was “agianst the war from the beginning,” only he wasn’t. He didn’t think experience mattered in 1992 when he ran against George H.W. Bush, and now he’s touting Hillary’s 35 years of experience to make her sound like “the nonincumbent incumbent.”
Bill Clinton threw the word “change” at Bush the elder in 1992, said Richard Cohen in The Washington Post (free registration), and he “takes umbrage” now that Hillary has become “the personification of the dreaded status quo.” But touting her experience “only ties her more to the status quo and, by proximity, to the problems of the day. When things are not working—and, after all, things are not working.”
The former president told Charlie Rose that “picking Obama” would be “a roll of the dice,” said David Brooks in The New York Times (free registration). Of course, that’s true of Hillary and the other Democrats, too. But Obama has “powers of observation” and an ability to look within himself that might prove more useful than experience if he makes it to the Oval Office, so he might be the one who is “better prepared for this madness.”
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