Campaigner in Chief
Will Bill Clinton become the first First Gentleman? Sure, but he will always be the campaigner in chief before anything else.
A few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton had the campaign’s first big rally in New York. As usual Bill Clinton was right beside her after the speech was over, and of course he shook hands for over a half hour after the event was done. Did you expect anything else? The talks about the former President’s role in the White House has lasted for months, but let’s first take a look at his role on the campaign trail.
During the first Hillary campaign in 2007 and 2008 the reviews for former president Bill Clinton were mixed. Did he hurt the campaign more than he helped? The answer in my opinion is both. In New Hampshire Bill was outstanding; in South Carolina he made mistakes. But let’s be clear. Bill Clinton’s political mind is an asset; he has maybe the greatest political mind in America. Few, if any, can dispute this. It looks like the lessons are learned this time around. It has been all Hillary and this is the way to go, but of course you must use Bill Clinton as an advisor and he should have campaign events in the early states, but fewer than in 2007 and 2008.
Better than Obama
To see the former President Bill Clinton campaign is a sight to see. In 2012 I did attend an Obama-Clinton rally, and I experienced Bill Clinton up close on the campaign trail. Bill’s speech was better than Obama, Bill’s handshakes and baby kissing was better than Obama’s, and Bill’s connection with the voters was better than Obama. In President Obama’s defense it was in New Hampshire, a state that is known as Clintonland. The key point is that he still got it in 2012 and he will have it in 2016. It’s in his political DNA. The way to use Bill Clinton is to do a light version of how he was utilized in 2008. Sometimes less is more, and it will make it more special every time he is on the trail or in the media.
Written by Steiner Ottesen – HRC 2.0 is a monthly column about Hillary’s 2016-campaign. The main themes will be campaign strategy and analysis. Photo: Steinar Ottesen