Who on Team Clinton thought offending a close American ally—and 10 million Polish Americans—was a good idea?
The exact role former President Bill Clinton plays in his wife’s presidential campaign is sometimes difficult to pin down. He has never excelled at keeping a low profile—it’s difficult to imagine Mr. Clinton as a retiring, camera-shy First Gentleman come January—and it’s long been obvious he’s a lot more popular with most of the Democratic base than his wife.
This explains why Hillary Clinton at times publicly offers her husband big jobs in her putative administration. Last weekend she indicated Bill would be in charge of getting our economy going again. “My husband, who I’m going to put in charge of revitalizing the economy, ’cause you know he knows how to do it,” Ms. Clinton told an audience in Kentucky. What exactly that means is subject to interpretation. Will Bill Clinton head up the new Department of the American Economy next year? How is that different from the existing Department of Commerce?
Details aside, Ms. Clinton needs all the help she can get on the campaign trail, as evidenced by her squeaker of a victory on Tuesday in Kentucky, where she beat out Senator Bernie Sanders by half a percent of Democratic voters, despite a big ad buy and a hard campaign push in the Bluegrass State, and despite the fact that she beat Barack Obama in the 2008 primary there by 35 percent. That Ms. Clinton is having considerable difficulty defeating a 74-year-old socialist who represents a state with two-tenths of apercent of the U.S. population does not bode well for her chances in November.
Therefore, Bill the political maestro is on call to help, and few can doubt that Hillary generally benefits from his public appearances, which recall for many voters a happier time—the Clinton era of the 1990s, when the economy was much better and the country overall seemed a happier and safer place than today. For the Democratic faithful, Bill Clinton is a big draw and his wife has no better one to call on.
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