By Brigitte L. Nacos
I do not know, and do not want to know, what is going on in former president Bill Clinton’s head or elsewhere in his sagging body. But this much is clear: he has not helped but rather hurt his wife’s efforts to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and the White House. It is quite possible and perhaps likely that he wanted to help Hillary’s cause, but one cannot help but recognize that he should have rather devoted his time to his own post-presidential causes and stayed out of Hillary’s campaign.
As it is, the man who has been called the first Black president because he was able to relate to and communicate with African-Americans like no other chief-executive before him managed to cause or at least contribute to the perception that the Clinton camp “drew the race card” in the heated competition between Hillary and Barack Obama.
There is no doubt that the leading mainstream media
organizations are full of people who did not and do not hide their preference
for Senator Obama and who used every opportunity to whack Senator Clinton and
Ex-President Bill Clinton—even by misinterpreting and blowing remarks made by
the Clintons and their aides out of all proportions.
But after taking so many shots below the belt during his
eight years as president, Bill Clinton should have known how to play the media
game to his wife’s advantage. Instead and probably unwittingly, he hurt his
wife’s chances. It will be up to psychiatrists and psychologists to figure out
how and why this happened.
As far as I am concerned the last proof of Bill Clinton’s damaging behavior with respect to his wife’s campaign was his stunning remark today—one day before the last two primaries of the Democratic Party. According to press reports, the former president said at a stop in South Dakota, one of the last two primary states, “"I want to say also that this may be the last day I'm ever involved in a campaign of this kind.”
In other words, Bill Clinton threw the towel at a time when Hillary was still campaigning her heart out to make a strong showing in both South Dakota and Montana.
If Bill Clinton would have kept his mouth shut during the campaign (a lesson that Michelle Obama learned quickly after the uproar over her controversial statements), his wife may have won the nomination race.