Program Note: Watch a special hour, “Clintons Never Quit.” Tonight, 10 ET
When it all began he was the superstar. He drew big crowds and big bucks. He had the title she wanted: President Clinton. But as the race for the nomination dragged on a curious thing happened. Sen. Clinton’s public approval rating fitfully improved over the long battle while the former president’s got decidedly worse. Hillary Clinton's numbers are now better than his across the board. As former Clinton adviser, David Gergen, put it “one of the enduring mysteries of this campaign has been...Bill Clinton's sometimes erratic behavior.”
He insulted reporters (remember what he called Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum?) and accused the Obama campaign of playing the race card. "The rage he exhibited at the end of this campaign did not go unnoticed,” said CNN’s Jessica Yellin, “Not only by the media, but by average people, average voters who were sort of astounded by it.”
Did Bill Clinton lose the primary for his wife? That depends on who you ask. Paul Begala, former Clinton adviser: "I don't believe for a minute that Bill Clinton was a negative to his wife's campaign. And…if it helps them sleep easier at night to believe this myth that the most popular man on earth…was somehow a detriment...I want a case of whatever it is they are drinking." Former Republican National Committee Senior Adviser, Tara Wall thinks “Bill Clinton soured a lot of voters with the way he debased and degraded Barack Obama.”
Today the campaign says unequivocally Bill Clinton is behind Obama. And Obama wants that support. But the two have yet to be photographed together. David Gergen has talked to people close to the former president and reports that he’s angry but “it's not that he's got an anger directed at Barack Obama, but he really deeply believed that his wife deserved this, that she had made all the preparations, that she would be the better candidate, the country would be better served."
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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