Bill Clinton to the Rescue?

Back in 1960 when Richard Nixon was running for president, Dwight Eisenhower was asked about what matters of substance Nixon had contributed as vice president. Eisenhower couldn’t come up with an answer. I was reminded of this when reading the coverage in The Washington Post on Hillary Clinton making use of Bill now that her campaign is in trouble:

For all his talk about the 1990s, though, the former president does not go into great detail about the role his wife played in his administration, instead simply leaving the impression that she was part of the team that brought about the decade’s gains.

He credits her with helping create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, after her push for universal health care failed, and he talks about her trips abroad, building ties in foreign countries and speaking out on controversial subjects such as women’s rights in Beijing and female genital mutilation in Africa. He briefly mentions her assistance in achieving peace in Northern Ireland and the Balkans.

At times, his pitch for his wife is focused so much on his own accomplishments as president that it almost sounds as if he himself is running for reelection.

Clinton often claims experience as reason to support her over Obama, but it is far from clear as to how valuable Clinton’s experience was as First Lady, especially as her major project, health care reform, was a fiasco. Similarly, despite supposedly being more experienced, it was Obama and not Clinton who recognized that supporting Bush on Iraq would turn into one of the worst foreign policy disasters in our history.

I wonder what Al Gore makes of all this. Gore has been criticized for distancing himself from Bill Clinton in 2000. If Bill Clinton winds up not helping Hillary, will this vindicate his decision?

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment