The common wisdom on Bill Clinton is he’s an invaluable asset to any campaign. Reasons given…he’s a beloved President, draws large crowds, draws large money, and it’s therefore assumed he’ll draw large support.
But let’s look at the record…
- 2000: Al Gore virtually shuns Clinton and runs his own campaign against the son of a former President. Result? Chaos ensues. Gore wins the popular vote, but loses the electoral college. And while we all know how it eventually turned out, Gore had a legitimate claim that he won in 2000.
- 2004: John Kerry embraces Clinton’s support and surrogacy after he wins the primaries. Result? He clearly loses both the popular vote and the electoral college against a widely reviled President.
- 2008: Hillary Clinton allows her husband to vigorously campaign for her on the campaign trail, which is historic in and of itself. No two-term President has ever been such a fierce supporter in the primary season. Result? Hillary is most likely facing defeat very soon, and at the very least a mathematically impossible race for delegates against a virtually unknown Senator from Illinois. No general election for her.
So I’ll ask the question again: how helpful is Bill Clinton? Because it seems the more that he’s involved in a campaign, the worse a candidate does.
And of course there are other factors, such as a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively, their policy platforms, their ability to respond to attacks quickly, etc.; but from all indications Bill seems to be a hinderance, not a help.
If Obama wins this nomination, he’d do well to remember this.
Maybe this is all the support Obama needs from Bill…
And so it goes…