January 25th, 2008
12:03 PM ET

Bill Clinton: Helping, hurting or both?

Sitting in a college chapel in Columbia, South Carolina in my usual morning role: waiting for HRC - pondering the Bill Clinton card.

On the one hand, if somebody's going to go after Obama, shouldn't it be her -  a.k.a. the actual candidate?


When he's the pitbull:

A) She looks like she needs his protection - circa 1950 - not so cool for a woman who wants to be commander-in-chief. She is woman. She should roar - circa 1970.

B) Former presidents are supposed to be elder statesman. BC's off-the-rails pitbull thing is tacky.

C) The spectre of a co-presidency looms. As Joe Biden once said to me, "Can you imagine being vice president with him (BC) in The White House?" Or Secretary of State or National Security Adviser, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

D) BC is so strident vis a vis Obama, party operatives worry BC is doing permanent party damage.

He hurts her.

On the other hand:

A) He's her husband for heaven's sake, acting like a husband. It's not like their marriage is a secret. If she kept him chained to his chair in Chappaqua, then what would people say? Besides does anyone doubt she's a tough cookie?

B) When was the last time a former president's wife ran for president? Exactly. New role. New rules.

C) He's got a Democratic party approval rating over 60 percent; many democrats WANT him to have a big role.

D) Dems so lust for the White House, bygones will be bygones before June.

He helps her.

Pondering at an end.

HRC just took the podium, after cameo appearances from two New York imports - Rep. Charlie Rangel and former New York Mayor David Dinkins, both African Americans, who said race is not an issue in the campaign - a frequent refrain now from camp Clinton.

Gotta go listen, leaving you to ponder the Bill Clinton card.

Candy Crowley, CNN Senior Political Correspondent 

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Raw Politics
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