Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

This Can’t Be Good

Together Again For The Last Time?

Bill Clinton has been smarting about the recently concluded primary ever since it ended. While he claims to be over it (witness Terry McAuliffe’s rather exuberant “lovefest” declaration), there continues to be a rather pronounced lack of coming together between the two. This story won’t dispel that notion:

The former president in many ways ended the Democratic primary campaign more isolated than his wife, with his own friends and allies unhappy with his flashes of anger and ill-chosen words and blaming him in part for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s defeat. With a negligible relationship with Sen. Barack Obama — he has spoken to him just once since the primaries — Clinton has been shut out of the Obama campaign almost entirely and does not know even basic things, such as the role he will play at the Democratic convention.


In a session that lasted more than 45 minutes, Clinton described his role in the 2008 campaign as “a privilege, an honor,” and said, “I loved it,” but he declined to discuss any of his own possible mistakes, describing them as a distraction. “Next year, you and I and everybody else will be freer and have more space to say what we believe to be the truth” about the primaries, he said.

Clinton volunteered very little praise of Obama, beyond describing him as “smart” and “a good politician” when asked about him toward the end of the interview. He did, however, muse at length about the role that race could play in the general election — the issue that some of his former black allies angrily accused him of introducing in the Democratic primaries — as a factor, if not a decisive one.

This is sure to ignite another round of media chatter about the relationship between President Clinton and Obama, as well as more pontification about whether Obama has to put Hillary on the ticket in the name of unity.

It should be noted that some of the conclusions raised in the piece–most notably Clinton being “shut out”–aren’t actually supported by anything in the article. Clinton himself doesn’t actually say he’s been “shut out” (and that presumes he wants some major role in the campaign), and there aren’t any other quotes to explain how it is the case. The concerning quote for me is about President Clinton saying he will be “freer” to discuss things after the election. That tells me he is still very upset about the primary, and once the election is over, he won’t be shy about telling everyone how he feels. Including, his real feelings on Obama


August 3, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. Sigh, so tired of Clinton melodrama

    Comment by dansac | August 3, 2008 | Reply

  2. Dansac, that’s exactly what I was going to say. They are really like permanently in High School. It’s too much.

    Where is their patriotism?? Don’t they care about the future of this country?

    But beyond that…if Barack wins the election, I really couldn’t care less what Bill says about him. I mean really…some angry ex-president talking trash of our awesome new president. It will just look pathetic and nothing more.

    And if Obama loses this election…well, God help us all. I will probably have other things in my mind (like which country to move to) beyond what Bill Clinton is bitching about.

    Comment by jenontheshore | August 3, 2008 | Reply

  3. hey guys nice blog. Really like the soothing colors. Bill Clinton’s self-absorption is one of the major reasons I couldn’t vote for Hillary. Ultimately, someone this involved in himself can’t be trusted to sit off the throne.

    Comment by ksh01 | August 4, 2008 | Reply

  4. I like Clinton – although I would prefer to see an Obama-Edwards ticket. I do think that Clinton on the ticket would help Obama’s chances at winning the presidency–but I don’t think that it would be a good fit for the next 4 years ahead of him/them, if (when) they did win.

    Back in May, Dr. Tantillo (‘the marketing doctor’), who has a blog on branding ( ) did a post arguing against the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket–positing that from a branding perspective, it makes no sense, and actually wouldn’t be a good move for Clinton’s brand, either.

    “Because of the length of this primary fight, brand identity and loyalty to brand have become central. What this means is that a kind of brand mutual exclusivity has set in.”

    Link to the full post:

    Comment by elo | August 4, 2008 | Reply

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