We already knew Bill Clinton enjoys a good scrum. Now he’s telling other Dems to put the pads on or stop playing the game. At a campaign rally in West Virginia, Bill Clinton said:

“If a politician doesn’t wanna get beat up, he shouldn’t run for office. If a football player doesn’t want to get tackled or want the risk of an occasional clip he shouldn’t put the pads on….

“Let’s just saddle up and have an argument. What’s the matter with that? That’s what America’s about, right? All this moaning and groaning — none of these politicians are gonna have anything like the tough time half the people in this audience have already had for the last seven years. This is about you. Don’t you let anybody take this election away from you.”

The former president is obviously responding to the growing worries that the Democratic party is hurting itself by having a mildly contentious primary campaign. Personally, I like President Clinton’s take. As much as I’m a fan of civility in politics, I don’t think the Obama/Clinton contest has really been all that nasty. There have been some elbows thrown but that’s about it. If the candidates can’t take a little pushing and shoving, how are they going to handle the pressures of the Oval Office?

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: the Democrats are benefiting from this protracted primary. Their issues and their supporters are getting the lion’s share of media time while John McCain has to travel the globe and present important policy speeches in order to get fifteen seconds on the nightly news. Those who think Hillary Clinton should drop out “for the good of the party” need to buck up and let this thing play out.

Politics Bill Clinton Tells Party to Toughen Up