I’ve thought for a long time, as I wrote here, that Hillary Clinton is unlikely ever to be President, largely because lots of uncommitted voters will recoil at the idea of sending Bill back to the White House for something like a third term. Not because they dislike Bill, but because it’s just too strange.
But I always thought that Bill would play a subdued role in Hillary’s campaign and that the issue of his role, should she win, would be a subtle one that would occur to voters in the later stages of the campaign, as they focus seriously on what it would mean for Hillary to be President. Obviously, I misjudged the Clintons’ capacity for restraint. That is, I assumed they had some.
Already, Bill has become the unguided missile of Hillary’s campaign, appearing in state after state, taking the lead in attacking Hillary’s main rival, and often driving Hillary out of the headlines with his own irrepressible zest for political combat. The New York Times, no enemy of the Clintons, finds it a bit odd:
Facing formidable support for Senator Barack Obama in South Carolina, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is deploying former President Bill Clinton there while she shifts her attention to campaigning in states with nominating contests next month and to raising money.
The strategic shift intensifies a new dynamic in the race: Mrs. Clinton