October 29th, 2008
05:06 PM ET

Bill & Barack: Are they really BFF's?

Editor's note: See Randi’s full report tonight on AC360° at 10p ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/29/art.billclinton.obamacampaign.jpg caption="Former U.S. President Bill Clinton campaigning for Senator Obama in Las Vegas on October 19."]
Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

Tonight, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama will campaign together for the very first time.

Did you ever think you’d see that?

Let me take you back to last January, just a day before the New Hampshire primary, when Bill Clinton called Obama’s opposition to the war in Iraq a “fairytale.”

It got even uglier between these guys a couple of weeks later in South Carolina.

Mr. Clinton compared Obama’s victory in the South Carolina primary to that of Jesse Jackson’s.

Yes, he did go there!

That left Hillary Clinton to clean up the mess. You see, many Democrats, including many African Americans, viewed that as a dig at Obama... an effort to minimize his victory and diminish him... because Jackson went on to lose the primary big time. Mr. Clinton, long called the nation’s first black president because of his popularity among African Americans, was suddenly labeled a racist. He denied that his remarks were racist in any way and accused the Obama campaign of leading the charge against him.

Obama often said on the trail he felt like he was running against “both” Clintons.

So has Bill Clinton really been able to bury the hatchet?

Remember, he wasn’t present in Denver when Obama accepted the nomination.

He hasn’t campaigned at his side until now, just a few days before the election.

And he hasn’t exactly been letting the compliments flow on the campaign trail. He sticks to the basics, like “this is the guy for the job.”

Does that sound like an overwhelming endorsement to you?

I talked with Bill Clinton’s former campaign manager, James Carville, about this.

He says after such a hard-fought primary, the longest and toughest in history, it’s understandable there are still some hard feelings, but he says Bill Clinton is on board and doing what he can to get Obama elected. He says there is no reason to believe the “unity” we will see on stage at this rally isn’t the real thing.

One political expert I talked with says Bill Clinton is competing with Barack Obama for history. He is the darling of the Democratic Party, and isn’t ready to give that up. This expert also says he doesn’t think Obama needs Bill Clinton so much, that he’s done well enough without him to stand on his own.

So what do you think? Are these guys really BFFs (Best Friends Forever!) or is this just for the TV cameras? And does Bill Clinton still have the star power to help Obama or will Obama outshine him?

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Randi Kaye • Raw Politics
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Sharon

    BFF or not, it is great when people can put aside their own personal feelings for the good of the country. For those who complain about the money that was spent on the 30 min ad. It was well worth it. They money was put back into the economy.

    October 30, 2008 at 7:45 am |
  2. sony ball

    Of course they're not BFF's! This is politics baby, they're on the same team! It's about party support and backroom deals. Of course Hillary is up next.

    October 30, 2008 at 1:13 am |
  3. Andy

    Best friend's....not by a long shot!But,Bill Clinton was a great President and Obama can be a great president,also! It shouldn't matter about his race...does it matter that McCain is old? No,it dosen't!Does it matter that Palin is female?No.Why should it matter that Obama is "mixed"!That's right...He's also white!So,all you racists need to get over it and except Obama IS the right person for the job.It's not like he can screw the country up any worse than it is,Bush did a good enough job at that for about the next 10 to 20 years or so!Unfortunately,Obama has only 4 to 8 years to try to fix it!

    October 30, 2008 at 1:02 am |
1 2