When I asked Bill Clinton about this issue, during an informal meeting in South Carolina, he readily agreed to sit down for a longer interview on his legacy’s role in the campaign. A few weeks later, however, and at the last minute, Hillary’s aides canceled the interview. Famously controlling, they would not even allow the former president to talk about his record.Interesting. You know, I was just watching the Charlie Rose interview with Bill Clinton, and I thought Bill Clinton seemed really angry about something. I had the impression that something was nagging at him that he couldn't talk about. I also noticed that he used the words "she" and "her" to great excess and rarely voiced his wife's name.
On those rare ocasions when the former president hasn’t been able to resist defending his wife or burnishing his own record, the results haven’t been especially helpful. Unlike Hillary Clinton and her team of advisers, who are relentlessly on message and disciplined, Bill Clinton is a more instinctual politician, given to improvisational moments that must torment his wife’s obsessive-compulsive aides. In November, Clinton suddenly asserted during a campaign appearance in Iowa that he opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning — an aside that he needn’t have offered and that clearly contradicted not only his wife’s Congressional vote but his own statements in the build-up to the war.If you were writing a novel about the 2008 presidential campaign, wouldn't you want Bill Clinton as your main character? What a complex situation he is in. He stands to gain power, but his time is also over. He can help his wife, but he can also hurt her. He is supposed to fight for her, but he's continually tempted to justify himself. He has the more creative mind, but he cannot outshine her.
ADDED: You know, things like this — "Elder Bush nixes Clinton trip idea" — make me think Bill secretly wants Hillary to lose:
Former President George H.W. Bush has shot down his successor Bill Clinton’s idea of a diplomatic mission under a Hillary Clinton presidency that would send him and other notables abroad to assure other nations that “America is open for business and cooperation again.”Why did Bill say that? It enlisted Bush 41 in what sounded like a plain insult to Bush 43.
The move came one day after Bill Clinton made the suggestion on the campaign trail in South Carolina, in response to a question from a supporter about his wife’s “number-one priority” upon reaching the White House.
MORE: Bill's way of talking about Hillary reminds me a bit of the way George Bush talked about Harriet Miers just before she withdrew:
Harriet Miers is -- is an extraordinary woman. She was a legal pioneer in Texas. She was ranked one of the top 50 women lawyers in the United States on a consistent basis....
Harriet Miers is a fine person....