Bill Clinton Endorses Obama

I chuckled at the NBC report that Bill Clinton said the following about a general election campaign between Hillary Clinton and John McCain:

“I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country,” said the former president. “And people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics.”

Bill must not have spent much time in this country to honestly think that any election with the name Clinton on the Democratic ticket would be focused enough to allow people to “actually ask themselves who is right on these issues.” Then I got to this part:

Bill Clinton spokesperson Matt McKenna clarifies the former president’s comment: “Actually, as is indicated by the quote itself, President Clinton was talking about the need to talk about issues, rather than falsely questioning any candidate’s patriotism.”

I’ll take McKenna at his word. If President Clinton was talking about the need to talk about issues then he was endorsing Obama because an election with Obama leading the Democratic ticket has a much better chance of being allowed to address issues than one with Clinton.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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Comments

37 Responses to Bill Clinton Endorses Obama

  1. David says:

    Don’t we all wish the Clinton campaign would admit that.

  2. mackenzie says:

    If the same words came from Obama he would be lauded for his brilliance, despite the fact that he is running on rhetoric that has been a part of every political campaign that I can remember. So what is the “change” to which the ever elusive Obama refers? If we were to hear Obama giving credit and recognition to the current administration, that would be a change, but I haven’t been around when the “bi-partisan” Obama did that. I have only heard him dish out the usual and expected negative criticism that is par for the course, the same old same old.

    I also can’t take him seriously if his explanation about his long-term pastor is true. Can we believe that a politician knows someone for twenty years and doesn’t have inkling about that person’s well-publicized politics? At best, Obama is a poor judge of character who doesn’t pay much attention for what is going on around him. For one running as the great uniter, why was he associating with such a divisive church for over twenty years?

    In my opinion, all we have seen in Obama until recently is a well-crafted public persona. It seems tragically stupid of the democrats not to have vetted him much earlier on. It also seems ironic that the politics of the pastor of Obama’s chosen church, was outed at the same time another public white knight was brought down. Be careful what you believe.

    As for Obama talking about issues, he needs to do that much more than he has here to fore. Enough with the speeches, time to get real and see what is really going on behind the mask.

  3. David says:

    I think that President Clinton was absolutely right – it would be great if we could have an elections where candidates and voters could focus on issues. I think that Obama’s positions are as well known as any other candidate. I also think we have as much chance of guessing with him as any other candidate how well those stated positions would be implemented (in other words, not much).

    My point is that Clinton has, in her last name and her history, a huge negative that Obama does not carry. Because of her history – and as evidenced by her campaign – any election with Clinton on the ticket will be divisive and the issues will be overshadowed.

    None of that serves as evidence that an Obama campaign would be able to avoid that negativity in the general election, but if you wish to avoid a negative, hyper-partisan campaign then you have to support Obama because with him as the nominee there is at least a chance (though certainly no guarantee) that the issues would stay at the center of the debate. With Clinton there is no such chance.

  4. Carl Miller says:

    Reply to MacKenzie:
    “Change” as used by Obama (WTH is his last name anyway?) I believe means “Not Bush”. I think this is why the media is so in love with him. It makes for good press without requiring the reporters to actually touch questions that require in-depth, intelligent analysis. The idea of intelligent, meaningful, and objective analysis seems to have escaped the media entirely.

  5. Carl Miller says:

    And while I’m on the subject of Obama, what’s the deal with “Obama girl”. She appears to be a well-endowed hussy in hot pants that no politician whose focus is on issues should ever allow to help advertise his campaign.

  6. M says:

    You said, “If President Clinton was talking about the need to talk about issues then he was endorsing Obama”. I interpreted this exactly the opposite. The need to talk about issues would be exactly an endorsement of Hillary–especially after the Rev. Wright explosion in the media. Isn’t it interesting how cryptic the Clintons are. You can read what you want to read.

    Oh, yeah. As an Illinoian with experience contacting my senator on political issues for the past 4 years, I know for a fact that Obama is worse. Far worse, because although many recognize how cryptic the Clintons are, not many recognize how cryptic Obama is.

  7. David says:

    Carl,

    Obama is his last name. His first name is Barack. And his position on Obama Girl would undoubtedly be that he has no authority or right to dictate what she does or does not say.

    M,

    President Clinton undoubtedly meant it the way you interpreted it but I stand by my assertion that no campaign with Hillary on the ticket would be allowed to stay focused on issues – even if she wanted it to. And she does want it to focus on issues because on the issues is the only way she would have a chance of winning – she certainly would not win based on personality or past accomplishments.

  8. Carl Miller says:

    First point, I understand that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, it seems that the whole world is fixated on calling him simply “Obama”. I was just trying to inject a little humor into an otherwise political discussion.

    Next point is that a polite letter from Sen. Obama to Obama Girl asking her to quit using sex to sell his campaign would not be out of place. After all, if Sen. Obama is trying to run a clean-cut, above-board, “change” campaign, this little tramp is not helping him accomplish that goal. Instead, she is simply appealing to the lowest common denominator and he is looking the other way. I don’t think that’s very appropriate for him to do.

  9. David says:

    Obama certainly could do that but nobody really thinks that he ever would. Most of the world sees her videos as somewhere between harmless and potentially distracting.

  10. Primrose says:

    Have you taken a look at Obama’s book?

    Where he discusses his hatred toward white people and his anger towards black people who have learned to live with white people;

    Where he proclaims his ability to skillfully put on a face to trick people and get what he wants;

    Where his wife express her complete dislike for the United States (which she claims never did anything for her).

    Since Obama has a total lack of integrity, (proud of his ability to fool people with his public performance), won’t he choose that kind of people for his cabinet?

    Our only hope with Obama would be that possibly the congress could check his agenda.

    There isn’t much difference between Clinton and Obama. She is publicly mean hoping to gain support from those who share her agenda. He is privately mean hoping to fool the public; Hoping to gain power before he is discovered.

    I can’t prove it, but that’s what I believe.

  11. David says:

    Maybe I should go take a look at Obama’s book. Even if all you say is true, we’re still probably better off with Obama (who at least attempts to put on a face of unity) than with Clinton (who is a known divider).

    The idea that Obama would become openly hostile once elected is unreasonable considering that he would want a second term (and a historical legacy after that).

    Like I said before, we don’t know for sure what we would get with Obama, but we do know with Clinton which is plenty of reason to prefer Obama over Clinton.

  12. Mackenzie says:

    David said, “Obama certainly could do that but nobody really thinks that he ever would. Most of the world sees her videos as somewhere between harmless and potentially distracting.”

    How can you know what “most people” and “nobody” thinks? Not a good argument.

    ,I find the Obama Girl video particularly offensive and suggestive that the American public can be swayed by shallow means, which I do not believe. I agree that Obama is simply looking the other way regarding the concept of the American public targeted by the Obama girl, as if Obama also perceives America as a shallow and thoughtless society. Obama won’t do anything about The Obama Girl, unless the media decides to take it up and then he will come up with more well-crafted rhetoric, believing he can easily persuade the American public by washing over the issues with a smooth veneer.

    As for knowing Barack Hussein Obama is not divisive, I think not, especially now that he his finally being vetted and his admiration for his extremely divisive pastor is well established.

    As for Obama’s book, I think that the statements made about it need to be supported with direct quotes.

  13. Primrose says:

    I can’t argue for either candidate.
    I’m not impressed with Clinton.
    Don’t trust either of them.
    I’d like to hear your take on the book.

  14. Mackenzie says:

    The argument that we are better off with Obama than Clinton because we know about Clinton while Obama is an unknown has to be supported by another argument that goes “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”. I don’t think America can afford to decide on a president with that kind of reasoning, but it is unlikely to happen anyway because if Obama wins the nomination, then he will not be able to escape being vetted, if not by the Republicans, then by the media. Like I said it is monumentally foolish of the Democrats to have let a candidate get so far without being vetted.

  15. David says:

    Mackenzie,

    You are right, my statement about most people and nobody is without evidence. I should have prefaced them with “I expect . . .” I still do believe that most people consider them relatively benign and I would be surprised to learn that anyone honestly would expect that Obama would take the time to ask Obama Girl to stop what she is doing. I think it would be more likely for him to argue that this is a matter of her free speech.

    On the other hand I think your assessment of what that speech says about our society is exactly right. It is a disappointing commentary on our society.

    The argument that we are better off with Obama who we don’t really know than with Clinton who we do does not have to be supported by the logic that what we don’t know can’t hurt us. My logic is a matter of comparison. We know that a Clinton presidency will be divisive and destructive. We don’t know for sure, but even recognizing the possibility that an Obama administration would also be divisive I would prefer the possibility of divisiveness over the certainty of it. If the choice were between a possible good and a definite good then the logic would be to go with the definite good. When the choice is between a sure problem and a possible problem then we should go with the possible problem. (This reminds me of a Star Trek episode where Captain Picard is trying to make a decision knowing that one option will leave millions of people dying while the opposite decision carries the risk of billions of deaths.)

    Primrose,

    I’m thinking I will have to read the book and decide for myself what I think about it.

  16. Mackenzie says:

    I don’t know what your certainty that a Clinton presidency would be divisive is based upon, or for that matter what the alternative concept is based in. When there are differences of opinion, there is divisiveness, and I would rather have that than conformity of opinion.

    As I already pointed out, if Obama is the “unifier” that he positions himself to be, then he should have something positive to say about the current administration. It seems to me that the hatred of Bush and the placing of Obama on a pedestal are two sides of the same coin, and that the Bush administration does not deserve the across the board hatred that is so often expressed any more than Obama deserves the unquestioned adoration. Both are extremes.

    In addition there is talk that even if Obama were to be vetted and the vetting brought out many characteristics that would make him less delectable, that the Democrats would still have to nominate Obama because, supposedly, black people are the Democrats base constituency. So how divisive is that?!? – especially when there are rumors emerging that Obama is racially biased against whites – As per his book that has been mentioned, although I am waiting for quotes in support of the statements made, which is why it is only a rumor for now. But if vetting were to reveal that the statements made regarding Obama’s book are true, supposedly the Democrats would still have to nominate him, because he is black, or at least that is my understanding of the ongoing commentary.

  17. David says:

    My conviction that a Clinton Presidency would be divisive is based on the the passionate contempt that partisan Republicans feel for the Clintons. Even if Hillary wanted to be a uniter, there are many among the Repubilcans who would do anything to thwart her efforts. We would have seen the same reaction from partisan Democrats to Newt Gingrich if he had chosen to run.

    Democrats also have an extreme dislike for President Bush which is one reason that it would be politically unwise for Obama to say anything nice about Bush until after he had secured the nomination (if, in fact, he has anything nice to say about Bush which is more than I would venture to assume).

    The argument that blacks are the base for the Democratic party is very similar to the argument that evangelicals are the base for the Republican party. They are important constituencies of their party bases, but they should not be controlling the entire party.

    My understanding of the argument for inevitably nominating Obama is not that he is black, but that it would discourage black voters from supporting the party if he won the primary elections but lost because of the superdelegates. I’m not sure if that argument would change if the vetting revealed something to make him less appealing to the Democrats.

  18. Mackenzie says:

    In other words Obama is behaving in a politically calculated way that contradicts the rhetoric of his allegedly inspiring and brilliant speeches. The rational that you have given is that Obama will do whatever he has to do to get elected but once in office may change his tune. As if we are to believe that Obama will exhibit non-partisan behavior after he is elected but not before because it isn’t a good election strategy. In order to get elected he needs to cater to the most partisan element in his own party, but once in power we can be assured that catering to partisan elements will no longer be necessary and Obama will then live up to his speeches.

    There are some politicians who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe even if it is unpopular and I do not see why we should expect less from a politician who is running a campaign based on “hope” “change” and “unification”.

  19. Mackenzie says:

    If not speaking up in a positive and unifying way for the curre3nt adminsitration can be justified as a necessary election statedgy, then why shouldn’t we also consider that speeches about hope, change and unification are also part of an election stratedgy. Obama supporters like to compare Obama to Kennedy, who was current when television was first becoming important in political campaigns and the country was naive compared to today’s standards. kennedy would not be likely to be elected today because the vetting process would bring out Kennedy’s connectiotions to organized crime.

  20. David says:

    I would be extra worried about partisan posturing (or the lack of overtures toward the oppositions) if it continues into the general election. Obama has made positive comments about Regan and he got attacked for what he said. I wouldn’t expect him to speak positively about anything Republican until he is in a position to court Republican voters. His message of change would ring very hollow if he tried to win in November by being the anti-Republican, but it’s quite natural that he would show himself as anti-Republican so long as he is still working on winning in August (the convention).

    No matter what his message is it’s hard to take him seriously if he insists on committing political suicide.

    The fact is that I don’t see any of this discussion as proving the worth of Obama as a candidate. This started as a message of the handicap of Clinton. Just because Obama does not have that particular handicap should not imply that I think he has no handicap, nor that he is my ideal for a presidential candidate – the closest candidates to my ideal from both parties have dropped out long ago.

  21. Mackenzie says:

    Your handicap about Clinton regards a statement that Bill Clinton made that the political discussion should focus on issues, and in your opinion that is an endorsement for Obama. I don’t think so.

    Personally the more the debate between Obama nad Clinto goes on, I am wondering why the paradigm is accepted that these are the only choices in a n election against the Republican nominee.If it were between Clinton and Obama, I would vote Nader.

  22. David says:

    The longer this primary drags on the less substantive it gets.

    My argument was that Obama might be allowed to talk about issues in the general election whereas Clinton would always be fending off questions about topics that had nothing do do with where our country should be headed – like who’s donating to her campaign and how involved she was the last time she lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    The longer this primary lasts the sooner the Republicans are likely to offer up obscuring fog for debate. The only time politicians seem to focus on issues is when they have nothing to question the character or ability of their opponent or when they have a clear upper hand on the issues in play (which neither party does at this time).

  23. Mackenzie says:

    Both canditates are and will be vetted as it should be. Vetting is appropriate for anyone running for office. Imho, the pastot issue is of major signifigance and not because it is a matter of guilt by association and the Obama camp is attmepting to spin.

  24. David says:

    I absolutely agree that the vetting process is important. It should augment, not replace, the discussion of issues.

  25. Mackenzie says:

    If the candidates discuss the issues , it is part of the conversation, but you can’t hold cadidates responsible for conversations that other people are having.

    It seems to me that there is discussion of issues all the way around and discussion about those discussions as well.

    As for Hillary and her tax disclosures, isn’t Obahma one of those making that part of the discussion? – which it should be.

  26. David says:

    You may be able to argue that the candidates cannot be held responsible for the conversations being had by others, but you can hold them accountable for they way they respond to those peripheral conversations. The candidates have the ability to set the focus of the campaign. If they allow that focus to drift to non-issues, or if their performance is such that the issues are things like “how fine is the line that divides ‘mis-spoke’ from ‘flat-out lied'” then they are not the kind of candidates that should be making it through to the general election.

  27. Mackenzie says:

    I am not sure what you are arguing since the candidates have control over their own statements and actions, but not over how others discuss what they say and do.

    The public discussion is uncovering misleading statements Obana made about his life, statements similar to those made by Clinton, i.e, statements that cannot possibly be true when one checks dates of historical events. I am not yet clear on those details but I am sure it will be continued to be discussed on the news along side Clinton’s statements. If either candidate could control what others say, they would unlikely allow such discussions to prevail.

    Honesty is an important issue as it goes to trust and believability. Does America want a president who cannot be trusted, either at home or aboard? Trust and honesty matter.

  28. David says:

    I agree that trust is an extremely important issues but I have not heard of anything said by Obama that rises to a Clintonian level of dishonesty.

  29. Mackenzie says:

    I only heard about it last night on cabel news. There were several instances mentioned and I didn’t take in all of the details

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/03/key-part-of-jfk.html links to an article about Obama’s story that his family was funded to come to this country by a Kennedy grant, which when checking the dates, isn’t exactly true.

    (I can’t figure out if that link works since every time I test it, the editing post function opens instead)

  30. David says:

    Thanks for sharing (I don’t watch cable so that was new to me). And yes, the link works.

  31. Carl Miller says:

    To be perfectly frank, if Mackenzie and David had been on a more public forum, e.g. cnn.com, I’m pretty sure that by Comment 15, there would have been death threats from one person or the other.
    This is my way of saying, “Way to stay calm and well-reasoned on a topic where comments could have gone ad hominem very easily.”
    I’m also happy to note that both David and Mackenzie agree on what I was getting at with the Obama girl comments, i.e. that it’s a sad commentary on the U.S. that somebody thinks public opinion can be shaped by hot pants. (I’m sorry, there’s something hugely funny to me about the phrase “public opinion can be shaped by hot pants”. I can’t explain it.)

  32. David says:

    Of course I attribute all of this civility to my masterful ability as a blogger to attract and retain only level-headed contributors. 😉

  33. Mackenzie says:

    I appreciate the wiggleroom that allows one to express differing and/or challenging opinions with civility.

    Since this is a free country, everyone is allowed to vote even if they vote for the flimsiest of reasons, but for those who would vote on the basis of “cool”, it is probably a half-hazard chance that they even make it to the polls. I think the Obama girl is not only “fun” but is also reaching out to such voters. I saw Obama Girl on TV with the a supposed Clinton Girl the other night, although the Clinton girl was just another Obama Girl, in that the Clinton Girl’s persona was a lesbian Monica Lewinsky making sexual inuendos about Clinton, whereas the Obama Girl lyrics were addressed to Clinton and saying that Obama is ahead so why don’t you quit.

    The host conratulated the entertainers and said that they would go far in their careers. Opportunists doing their jobs. They will go far in their careers along with the governor’s call girl.

  34. David says:

    Which career were you referring to with Spitzer Girl?

    I had forgotten about Clinton Girl (it seems to me that the Clinton campaign had the Clinton Girl position covered from the beginning using either Hillary or Chelsea) but that reminds me that there were others as well – Giuliani Girl, and Romney Girls (plural, naturally). In the age of YouTube I expect this type of thing will be normal in national races, and might even filter down to some smaller races.

    I think Mackenzie is right – they are opportunists, and Obama Girl has a potential lifetime of opportunity for the taking thanks to her 15 minutes of fame.

  35. Mackenzie says:

    To begin with Spitzer’s call girl instantly made 200,000.00 from downloads of her songs on her own website. Donarld Trump thinks she is an excellent candidate for one of his new television shows, and there has been rumor about a book, of course.

    Then there is the other issue of laws against making money from a crime but thatbecames a difficult line to draw. I think a case could be made if she writes anything aboout Spitzer in a book, but not about music sold due to her new found noteriety.

  36. David says:

    I didn’t know that she had made that much money from her son on her website – although I had heard the rumors of a future book deal. (Even without rumors of a future book deal we can almost expect that there would be one.)

    We could start predicting what her book will be about. I predict it will be a life story about how she got to where she was when Spitzer found her and the Spitzer adventure (with a vague reference to any other “clients”) and the results of her fame. I’d say 20% of the book would be the years before Spitzer and 20% would be the time after the media found her with 60% of the book focusing on the months that she is now famous for.

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