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How Bill Clinton matters
Will the former president get firmly behind Obama? Does it matter?
 

Joe Biden will address the Democratic convention as Barack Obama’s running mate Wednesday night, said Scott J. Anderson in CNN’s Election Center 2008. But Bill Clinton may be the one who steals the spotlight. After Hillary’s pitch for party unity a day earlier, everyone wants to know whether the former president will be able to put the bitterness of the primary fight in the past.

Don’t bet on it, said Stephen Clark on the Fox News Web site. “Clinton has continued to lob perceived bombs" at Obama's readiness to be president, saying voters wouldn’t back someone who shared their beliefs if they didn’t think he could deliver. Clinton has been the party's star for 20 years, and he doesn't seem ready to pass the torch.

Bill Clinton’s “performance” in the primaries may have cost Hillary a spot on Obama's ticket, said The Washington Post in an editorial. But Obama’s campaign would do well to build upon his legacy as president—especially his understanding that America’s prosperity hinges on “a deepening economic and commercial engagement with the world.”

“The former president’s tone will matter, no doubt,” when he takes the stage in Denver, said The Dallas Morning News in an editorial. But his mere presence should help Obama by reminding everyone in the party that “they must own the political center” to win in November.

That’s how Bill Clinton won, said Peter A. Brown in the Rocky Mountain News. But Obama's campaign is a "repudiation" of how Clinton remade the party by challenging “the liberal orthodoxy—welfare reform that requires recipients to work for benefits is one example.” Obama is sticking to the liberal path, and only time will tell who has the winning formula.

 

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