April 14th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Author: Bill Clinton's conduct in wife's campaign 'unexplainable'

CNN

Watch Wolf Blitzer discuss Sen. Clinton's candidacy with Cokie Roberts.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Book author and veteran political journalist Cokie Roberts speculated Monday about former President Bill Clinton’s motivations with respect to his wife’s presidential bid.

“The math is tough for her,” Roberts said of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s White House bid. “And, every time she seems to get some traction, Bill Clinton comes along and says something that throws her off again,” added Roberts.

“It’s unexplainable unless there’s some deep-seated problem there that he’s subconsciously doing.” “I can’t get over it. He’s politically so smart and yet he keeps managing to get in the way instead of being helpful,” observed Roberts.

Roberts, the author of the recently released “Ladies of Liberty,” a historical look at some of America’s early influential women, also spoke with Wolf Blitzer about why it has taken so long for the country to have a serious female presidential candidate and about how some women – especially young women – have been torn in their allegiances between Sen. Clinton and her rival Sen. Barack Obama.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. lol

    michelle obama's comments are unexplainable. snobama's comments about small towns in PA are unexplainable. him sitting in a black separatist church for over 2 decades while his "mentor" spewed anti white, anti jewish, anti american ideology is unexplainable.

    April 14, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  2. Desiree

    A lot of men harbor feelings about women in high position. Also I think deep down inside he knows she'll do a better job and he doesn't want to be unstaged.

    April 14, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. Pepou62

    Billy is a sexist who unconsciously wants to sabotage his wife's campaign. This is why he had numerous affairs, the hatred for his wife who probably would be smarter without him.
    I would have voted for her if she had the guts to tell him to get lost,

    April 14, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  4. hillary

    I don't think bill can stand to see his wife as a president. that will bruise his ego therefor he has to subconsoiusly sabotage her campaign.

    April 14, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  5. honkey white guy from cali

    I have alot of female friends that I can tell you are fighting this issue big time they all feel some since of loyalty to Sen Clinton because she is a women however, there is a few and others on the fence about switching there places. I think women have to ask the question do they really trust her after all the stuff in this campaign. I had so much respect for her win she jumped in the race. but now i am just sad for her mostly.

    Go Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  6. Observer

    I agree with Cokie that this behavior on Bill Clinton's part is inexplicable. How could a man with such a talent in political discourse make so many mistakes? I'm not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination, but it almost seems he is Hillary's campaign. Maybe her team is facing the reality of Obama's eventual nomibnation, and Bill will take the fall when her campaign implodes, as payback for his naughty-boy past of a decade ago?--Naaaahhh.....no way......

    April 14, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  7. Obama the other typical white meat

    Hillary has always had a battle in life. Against big pharma and insurance as first lady and now again she faces the same companies and same battle in their agent in the person of Obama which is paid by them.

    If Hillary does not win, it will be a gross injustice of political manipulation since Al Gore 2000.

    First it was the GOP messing up the voting in Florida in 2000 and now it is an empty suit selling promises that he has no ability or plan to fulfill.

    April 14, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  8. Carmen

    Bill is having flash backs as if he is running for President again. Hillary don't wear dresses only pant suits two they are twins. She needs to send him home to take some of the stress off his mind about what happen when he was President.

    April 14, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. Floridian

    I'm a young woman, and I don't have any problem. I would be thrilled to vote for a female president, but I would never, no matter what, vote for Hillary Clinton.

    April 14, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  10. Michelle

    Just because someones a woman they owe something to Hillary Clinton? Its the old women voting for because shes a woman that are perpetuating sexism. Obama is the better candidate, hands down.

    April 14, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  11. kentucky

    How anyone can support any Clinton is beyond comprehension. They only count on the gullible people to support them, because anyone with even a very low I.Q. can see through their con.

    April 14, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  12. Dan (TX)

    What's not to understand? Bill Clinton is used to being in the spotlight as the center of attention. It's clear he's unable to exercise self-control – he feels compelled to flap his jaws about every subject to the usual detriment to Hillary's campaign.

    Unfortunately, Bill will be forever a "loose canon" – with Hillary unable to "muzzle" him.

    Sadly for Hillary, people will always wonder if the only reason she got so far so fast is because of Bill's "coat-tails." Or, is a vote for Hillary really going to be a vote for Bill instead? (Especially if she can't control him.) Only time will tell....

    April 14, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  13. Chris

    There is a rumor somewhere that if Hillary were to lose, she will divorce Bill. It seems they had an agreement before she started the campaign where if Bill were to help her, she will not divorce him.

    Think about it, they destroyed Al Gore's chances as they were in the background. They destroyed Kerry's chances (if you remember Kerry's last few days before election). If Kerry would have won, Hillary would not be able to run this time. Now they know they will lose, but they are trying to destroy democrats chances, because they want another chance to run in 4 years. They are one dirty couple. They are going to bring a bad name to American's , thats for sure.

    April 14, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  14. JA Cook

    Bill Clinton loves the spotlight. You have to wonder if he'd really be able to handle it if Hillary were to be elected President.

    Perhaps something subliminal is at work within him to keep Hillary from success.

    April 14, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Stephen

    Times have changed. This is a slightly different America politically than the one Bill Clintion lead 8 years ago. So no wonder Bill can't get his feet right......he is out of step I am afraid.

    April 14, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  16. Danny

    If United States not give President to Women they don't need to marry a
    women and they don't need to complain about China no women right.

    Other thing if this time women not a President America not suppose to be
    a world leader because the MEDIA again women too much.

    I love my wife I love women to be President and I like to see Hillary to be
    President of the United States.

    April 14, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  17. Judith from ohio

    Imagine Hill and Bill fight with each other on a foreign tour.

    Bill is loosing it. Hillary has lost it.

    April 14, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  18. Newman

    Yes it is unexplainable, and that is why these two will fail. They will never see the whitehouse again. Good for us! Good for the U.S.

    April 14, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  19. Disgusted

    Bill's unexplainable behavior? Its because of either too little aricept or too much viagra. go figure.

    April 14, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. spyturtle

    Husband or not, Hillary is aligned with very corrupt men. Mark Penn and Bill. She is running on Bill's 8 years so we can't forget all the scandal and Bill cashing on on his Presidency. Hillary is a participant in all of the corruption if she wants to ride on the coat tails of her husband. The Clinton's are both ambitious and competitive. They both don't how to turn it off. She craved attention during Bill's tenure and now he is way out there too. Many of us forgave Bill but we don't want more of the Clinton chaos. We want a new kind of politics and vision. Someone like Obama that doesn't have all the excess baggage.

    April 14, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  21. MM

    I would guess that Bill Clinton doesn't want his "legacy" to be ruined only to be remember as the 1st ever "first husband" of the first ever woman U.S. president. All of 8 years down the drain once Hillary successfully becomes the first female U.S. president in history. Do you think Bill's own ego will be able to withstand that and he's forced to walked 5 paces behind Hillary anywhere she goes?

    I think not.

    April 14, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  22. An American in Canada

    THERE ARE SOME WHO SAY THAT BECAUSE OF THE CLOSE RACE AND THE BICKERING BETWEEN CLINTON AND OBAMA THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL BE DESTROYED.

    THEN SO BE IT, THEY CAN BE REINCARNATED INTO THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

    WHAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS DEMONSTRATED TO AMERICANS IS THAT THEIR SYSTEM OF CHOOSING A CANDIDATE AS THEIR LEADER IS LAUGHABLE. AND OPEN TO RIDICULE

    THEIR SYSTEM IS ALL OVER THE MAP, FROM VOTING POLLS, TO CAUCAUSES, TO SPLITTING THE NUMBER OF DELEGATES, AND THEN THE CHERRY ON THE CREAM THE USELESS SUPERDELEGATES WHO SEEM TO HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A POSITION LIKE THIS AND ARE ALL AFLUTTER,

    NO WONDER THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS CONCERNED, THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HOW REDICIOUS THEY APPEAR TO THE WORLD.

    WE BRAG ABOUT OUR DEMOCRATIC VOTING RIGHTS AND THEN THE DNC DISENFRANCHISE FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN

    I AM A DEMOCRAT AND I AM APPALLED ABOUT THE WAY OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN WAS ABLE TO MANIPULATE THE CAUCAUSES.

    THE CAUCUS IS THE OPEN SORE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTIONS. THAT IS THE FIRST THING THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY SHOULD GET RID OF, RIGHT AFTER HOWARD DEAN

    April 14, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  23. MM

    correction:

    I would guess that Bill Clinton doesn't want his "legacy" to be ruined only to be remembered as the 1st ever "first husband" of the first ever woman U.S. president. All of his 8 years as a U.S. president down the drain once Hillary successfully becomes the first female U.S. president in history. Do you think Bill's own ego will be able to withstand that concept and be forced to walk 5 paces behind Hillary everywhere she goes? I think he'd rather commit to a divorce than to go through 4 years (or 8 years) being in her shadow.

    I think not.

    April 14, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  24. Jay

    Cokie Roberts appears to be acting out the victum role when it comes to women candidates. There are many women in political positions but to somehow refer to the system as unfair to women because none has be elected to the presidency is nonsense. I, personally, will not vote for Hillary because I don't like her proposal for universal healthcare and some of the other socialistic leanings that she has. I don't trust her and don't want to see this country with her as leader. Cokie should state why Hillary would be a good president instead of compaining that she is not getting a fair break.

    April 14, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  25. Vig

    Bill Clinton – needs to be the center of attention and his wife's campaign just opens the door to center stage.

    April 14, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
1 2