The PJ Tatler

What Bill Clinton Really Thinks of President Obama

Former President Bill Clinton will give a glowing endorsement of President Obama tonight in Charlotte, no doubt bringing down the house with his effusive words of praise for his wife’s former rival.

But, as Politico reminds us, it hasn’t always been peaches and cream between the two men. Here are a few choice quotes from Clinton that reveals how he really feels about Barack Obama:

2. “I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign, that they planned to do it all along.” — April 21, 2008, WHYY News Radio

3. “In theory, we could find someone who is a gifted television commentator and let them run. They’d have only one year less experience in national politics.” — Dec. 15, 2007, PBS’s “Charlie Rose”

4. “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” — Jan. 7, 2008, addressing Obama’s record on Iraq during a New Hampshire stop

[…]

7. “I mean, when’s the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running? I mean, he will have been a senator longer by the time he’s inaugurated, but essentially once you start running for president full time you don’t have time to do much else.” — Dec. 15, 2007, PBS’s “Charlie Rose”

8. “Oh, I think yes.” – Dec. 20, 2011, Fox News, when asked if the media favored Barack Obama during the 2008 election.

Just recently, Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker revealed a telling exchange between Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton during the 2008 primaries when Clinton was desperately courting Kennedy’s support for Hillary:

Tim Russert told me that, according to his sources, Bill Clinton, in an effort to secure an endorsement for Hillary from Ted Kennedy, said to Kennedy, “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.” Clinton’s role in the campaign rattled Obama. He told ABC News in an interview that Clinton “has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling.”

Yeah, real lovebirds, those two.

Politics is full of mismatched couples, arranged marriages, shotgun weddings, and marriages of convenience. But these two guys hate each other and no amount of sweetness and light coming from the podium tonight will be able to hide that fact.

Bill Clinton is smart enough not to go off the rails tonight and try to sabotage Obama at his own convention. If Obama were to lose in November, the party would turn against his wife and make a run in 2016 extremely difficult for her. So Clinton will play the good soldier and talk up Obama’s accomplishments, even though he knows in his heart of hearts that Hillary could have done a much better job but for the president playing the race card during the 2008 primaries.