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Bill Clinton causing headaches to Hillary again

Tue, Feb 16, 2016, 01:20 PM
Former President Bill Clinton butting in often is affecting his wife Hillary's chances in the Democratic presidential race. Known for his political genius, Bill Clinton sometimes forgets his role is supportive only.

In his post-White House years, Clinton has become a coveted Democratic surrogate. But when it comes to his wife's campaigns, something else can happen: He seems to lose it.

It was true in this crucial nominating state of South Carolina in 2008, where Hillary Clinton lost badly to Barack Obama. And it's been true this month, when the former President has re-emerged as a potent but unpredictable advocate who sometimes helps his wife's cause and sometimes doesn't.

Over the weekend, it seemed that the crowd of more than 650 would get a glimpse of the Bill Clinton who had broken free of the reins earlier in February, in the closing days of the New Hampshire primary race. Then, Clinton accused rival Bernie Sanders of running a dishonest campaign and the media of coddling him.

The outburst was widely seen as unhelpful to Hillary. Her campaign aides emphasized that the former President's role was to positively reinforce her message, not to be an attack dog. But in an unexpectedly close nominating contest, that has proved a difficult task.

"Bill Clinton is an incomparable genius when it comes to politics - except when it comes to his wife," said former Obama strategist David Axelrod. "It clouds his judgment."

Axelrod said he understands why the former President behaves the way he does: because he loves his wife and because he believes she is the best candidate in the race.

"He's proud of what she's done, and he can't believe that people don't see it," he said. "He can be super-effective for her. Where he's not effective is where he has these histrionic episodes," he added.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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