Bill Clinton’s dangerous game
Things are not going well for President Obama. His ratings are low – in fact latest polls show he would lose the next presidential election to a Republican nominee – and the economy is tanking. This week he described himself as “used to being an underdog”.
You’d think he would find some crumbs of comfort from his party. You’d be wrong. In the last few weeks, Bill Clinton has been undermining the Obama presidency in subtle ways that are reviving bad memories of the 2008 election campaign, when Obama prevailed over the former president’s wife.
Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, has behaved with exemplary loyalty. But check out her husband, asked on Meet the Press, if Obama can be reelected. There is a long pause, before Clinton replies “Yes” before adding: “if people believe that he had a credible plan and the Republicans thwarted it.” It wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.
He has since said that the president’s economic plan is “a little confusing.”
Then, last week, there he was again, talking about jobs creation with New York governor Andrew Cuomo. What a contrast to Obama, mired in jobless figures. The Associated Press story about the event quoted a top political strategist working for Clinton, Hank Sheinkopf, who said: “It’s not helpful for President Obama to have an ex-president and a Democratic governor talking about creating jobs when he can’t.”
But Clinton has not stopped there. Next month he’s bringing out a book, “Back to Work: Why we need smart government for a strong economy.” Clearly the former president wants to boast about having created more than 20 million jobs and the budget surplus he left to George W. Bush.
Clinton is playing a dangerous game. He is constitutionally barred from standing for a third term, but maybe he has his wife – or someone else – in mind who could challenge the White House incumbent. The last time this happened, when Jimmy Carter was challenged in 1980 by Ted Kennedy, the incumbent lost. Clinton is undermining Obama at a time when the president needs all the help he can get. With friends like these…Tagged in: Clinton, economy, election, Hillary Clinton, obama
Recent Posts on The Foreign Desk
- Obama lectures Modi’s government on religious tolerance at the end of a hyperactive visit
- A shouting economic adviser, a Nobel Laureate and a rock star scientist on stage at the Jaipur lit fest
- Obama's India trip is significant but expect limited results
- India’s Seven Sisters – so near and yet so far
- Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalists undermine his reforms agenda
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter