I'm fairly convinced that Bill Clinton is running for President of the Universe. His rousing oratory last night at the Democratic National Convention brought people to their feet, and all those extra-terrestrials listening into our activities down here even thought, "Hell, this guy's not one of us, but he can make sure all our people are happy!"
Clinton made a strong push for the reelection of President Obama last night, and may have swayed millions of television viewers at home. Made you proud to be Democrat, I would imagine. However, their relationship wasn't always rosy, and here are five ways that Clinton may have rolled the bus on Obama in the past:
1. Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, and South Carolina:
Bill Clinton was none too happy about Obama winning South Carolina, or frankly for having the audacity to challenge Hillary for president. South Carolina sent a real notice to the campaigners that the Democratic nomination would be a tough go all the way through. That didn't stop Bill Clinton from putting his own spin on the state's primary: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88," Clinton said at a rally in Columbia. "Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here." This came on the heels of a comment Clinton made that accused the Obama campaign of race baiting just a few days earlier. That animosity might help to make sense about Clinton's interjection in the issue of number two below.
2. Hillary and the VP Nod She Apparently Didn't Want:
Clinton's never one to make sure his wife's opinion that's really his is ignored. In 2008, after conceding the Democratic nod to Obama, Bill's response to the question of whether or not Hillary would want to be Obama's VP is "Not really, she didn't." Not that this, in and of itself, is a slap in the face of Obama. However, it does serve to poison the well enough to make sure Obama's a bit defensive about the VP slot going to Hillary. Sure enough the move might have worked, as recently it's reported that Hillary turned down the opportunity to replace Biden on the Democratic ticket. Although Bill's reported to have encouraged Hillary to take the spot in preparation for 2016, it's doubtful he did it to be helpful to the Obama ticket in any way. After all, he doesn't really think that highly of him as demonstrated in number three.
3. Barack, Bill, and Bill's Bellhop:
In 2008, Clinton wanted the White House back, even if he was president vicariously through his wife. The tensions that mounted throughout the course of the campaign can be seen nowhere better than in Clinton's comment about Obama to Ted Kennedy: “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.” Whether or not that's a racist comment or just good ol' fashioned condescending rhetoric, it's not hiding the feelings he held for Obama. It's easy to pretend to like someone if you know you'll get something out of it, and Bill is better than most of serving his self-interest in this manner. However, at some point, people will know your true feelings. However, as number four demonstrates below, Obama knew how Clinton felt a long time before the 2008 presidential campaign.
4. Clinton Endorsed Bobby Rush:
In 2000, Bobby Rush was Congressman for the Chicago-based Illinois 1st Congressional District. On the heels of getting trounced in Chicago's Mayoral election by the boss Richard M. Daley. Many Democrats smelled blood in the water, and Barack Obama made a run at Rush for Congress that year. Word is Clinton ran some commercials for Bobby Rush, but his endorsement also joined the chorus of elected officials that (no pun intended) rushed to support Rush. It wouldn't be the last time that the Clinton didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with the campaign strategy of Obama, as evidenced by number five.
5. Bill Backs Bain and Romney's Record:
Obama's campaign enjoys the prospect of engaging Romney in the rhetoric of class struggle and warfare. Castro hinted at it when he said Romney "just doesn't know how good he's had it." The DNC took advantage of it when bringing employees fired by Bain Capital up to the stage. They will take advantage of every sob story possible to make people think Romney is a heartless corporate raider that destroys peoples' lives. Bill Clinton, though, would use a different tact:
"I don’t think we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work; this is good work,” Clinton said, adding: “There’s no question that, in terms of getting up, going to the office, and basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who’s been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold."
Publicly questioning the messaging strategy of your party's president and nominee might be taken by some to be slap in the face. Just saying, it's not always best to air disagreements out in public, even minor as they may be.
In the end, Bill Clinton will support Barack Obama because he's Bill Clinton. Bill knows the game better than most, and the fact that he's served as a voice at the DNC for going on seven conventions now (most people don't remember his horrific speech for Dukakis in 1988). He's survived multiple presidencies, including his own, still to remain relevant today.
Then again, you don't become President of the Universe without stepping on The Messiah along the way.