January 7, 2008

What's the problem with Bill Clinton?

The NYT has this somewhat puzzling report about Bill Clinton's role in the Hillary campaign. We're told that the crowds at his New Hampshire events are "sleepy and sometimes smallish crowds" and that he's seemed "determined to lower his wattage, to eliminate any hint that he might be the headliner." What's going on?
Mr. Clinton’s practiced self-deflation on the stump reflects something of a split within the campaign over how best to use him, campaign advisers say. There is a feeling among one faction that he was overexposed in Iowa, and that his presence became a distraction.
But he can't be willing the crowds to be smaller than the auditoriums where he deigns to appear.


Gavin said...

I'm sorry but "Mr. Clinton’s practiced self-deflation on the stump" sounds far too much like a euphamism to me.

Which might explain the small crowds.

George said...

Alternatively, Ms. Clinton's campaign wants him to attract fewer people and wants the press to report this to show that he is not so important and that she is her own woman.

Indeed, the WSJ reports this morning that both Romney and Clinton have suddenly remade themselves.

"Another change aimed at younger voters has been a less-prominent role at the candidate's side for husband Bill, the former president, and a more-active role for their 27-year-old daughter. Until now, Chelsea Clinton largely stayed in the background at campaign events. But on Saturday Mrs. Clinton and her daughter rode on a campaign bus to Durham with four young undecided voters, all of whom plan to vote in the primary.

The voters asked about health care and financial aid for college. Chelsea chimed in often, offering her own opinions or reminding her mother of examples that fit her argument. The Stanford graduate, who now lives in New York City, mentioned friends burdened by student-loan debt, putting her arm warmly around her mother."

Note that Chelsea has now found her voice and, most astonishingly, is interrupting her mother--the future president!

The article also says she is busing in huge numbers of out-of-state supporters to make her crowds look as large and as enthusiastic as Sen. Obama's.

goesh said...

I'm sorry but the thought of Wally and Beaver came to mind, with Beaver, being the smaller of two, in drag

Meade said...

The Comeback Kid has become the Go Back Guy.

Pogo said...

He is the retired department chair, revered by old insiders, reviled by his opponents, now exiled to emeritus staff.

Now his wife wants to be department chair, and she keeps bringing him to the faculty parties, with mixed results.

Some want him to lead, and bring back those glory days; some want him just to go away and be honored but absent. But it ends up being about him. It's always about him.

Middle Class Guy said...

What is the problem with Bill Clinton?

The answer is obvious.

The problem with Bill Clinton is...

Bill Clinton!

the wolf said...

He was "overexposed" in the Oval Office also.

Michael_H said...

The Clintons have no cred with younger voters, hence the more WJC campaigns, the lower HRC's poll numbers go.

Younger voters remember WJC as the guy who got a BJ from his intern, then said that getting a BJ isn't having actually sex.

Those who are now the "younger voters", the ones HRC has lost to Obama, were in high school and college when WJC was president, and knew damn well that a BJ is sex.

The Clintons are sooo last century.