WASHINGTON (CNN) - What a long, strange, unhappy trip it's been for Bill Clinton.
When Sen. Hillary Clinton officially launched her drive for the White House 17 months ago, the former president's possibilities seemed endless. His wife's nomination by many of the party faithful was seen as a virtual certainty.
When the Clintons moved back into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the political world would once again be Bill Clinton's oyster. Maybe even a co-presidency.
Perhaps he would get another crack at settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some even speculated that he would follow in the footsteps of William Howard Taft and become the second ex-president to serve on the Supreme Court.
Suddenly many of those possibilities are gone, or at least significantly reduced. The 42nd president's reputation as a master politician and respected elder statesman has been damaged. Some Clinton partisans are privately grumbling that he helped sink his wife's presidential campaign.
How did this happen? How did it all go so wrong for the man who almost single-handedly led the Democrats out of the political wilderness 16 years ago?