Ahh, the continuing “friendship” of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. As the New York Daily News reported at the start of 2010, quoting the portion of John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s Game Change that somehow didn’t make it into HBO’s recent TV movie version, “Bill Clinton helped sink his wife’s chances for an endorsement from Ted Kennedy by belittling Barack Obama as nothing but a race-based candidate:”
“A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee,” the former president told the liberal lion from Massachusetts, according to the gossipy new campaign book, “Game Change.”
The book says Kennedy was deeply offended and recounted the conversation to friends with fury.
After Kennedy sided with Obama, Clinton reportedly griped, “the only reason you are endorsing him is because he’s black. Let’s just be clear.”
The revelations in “Game Change” are guaranteed to reopen the 2008 Clinton racial wounds that had been scabbing over amid his post-election public silence and his wife’s high marks as Secretary of State.
I wonder how sufficiently healed those wounds are, given this recent report from The Hill: “Struggling Obama super-PAC asks Clinton for help:”
Priorities USA, a super-PAC focused on reelecting President Obama, has asked former President Bill Clinton to help them pick up the pace on fundraising.
Democratic donors have been resistant to giving to the group. This is partly because of liberals’ hesitation about super-PACs in general and partly because Sean Sweeney and Bill Burton, the two former White House staffers heading the group, aren’t as plugged in to the fundraising world as those helping some of the Republican groups, which include heavy-hitters like Karl Rove and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R).
If Clinton decides to help Piorities USA that could go a long way toward wooing some rich donors off the sidelines. According to Businessweek, he’s leaning towards aiding them.
But how anxious he is really, considering the evident bad blood between the two camps — not to mention Obama as a one-termer sets Hillary up nicely for 2016 if President Romney makes a hash of the economy and/or foreign affairs.
Of course, if he does campaign, it might provide more nostalgia for the good old days of the past, which doesn’t necessarily bolster Mr. Obama’s image. Despite their disagreements, I recall watching news reports of President Reagan stumping for Papa Bush’s flailing campaign in 1992. How’d that work out?