June 19th, 2008
02:51 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: When will Bill Clinton back Obama?

Blitzer: How active will Bill Clinton be on the trail for Obama?
Blitzer: How active will Bill Clinton be on the trail for Obama?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Bill and Hillary Clinton attended the memorial service for Tim Russert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on Thursday. That was the first time I have seen them since Senator Clinton dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed Barack Obama. She was very enthusiastic that day. It dawned on me yesterday that we still haven’t heard the former President formally endorse Senator Obama. I am sure he will be on the Obama bandwagon openly and energetically fairly soon. But I wonder what’s taking so long. Then again, is it really all that long?

As our CNN contributor and Democratic strategist James Carville has pointed out, it was only the other day when Al Gore endorsed Obama. We shouldn’t be surprised that Bill Clinton is waiting for the right moment to deliver his big endorsement speech. And having covered the Clinton White House, I can predict that it will be a major media event when he does. Bill Clinton is just one of those remarkable political figures. When he wants to do something, he has a knack of doing it in a spectacular way.

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But after that big endorsement is made, how active will the former President be on the campaign trail?

The answer is: I don’t know. I suspect some Obama supporters will want to see him very actively out there. He remains very popular with a lot of Democrats. Others might want him to step back. I remember that Al Gore, back in 2000, didn’t use Bill Clinton all that much, even in states where he might have made a difference. I am referring to Arkansas specifically. Had Gore won Arkansas in 2000, he would have been president. That one state’s electoral votes would have made the crucial difference.

We will soon begin to learn what roles the two Clintons will take. Those of us who are political news junkies will find it fascinating no matter what they do.

One final thing: what about Chelsea Clinton? She was an amazing campaigner for her mom. Let’s see what she does for Obama.


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Samantha in Seattle, WA

    I think Bill, Hillary and Chelsea will all campaign later in the election probably after the formal nomination has been made at the convention. Until then they'll all secretly be hoping Hillary gets nominated.

    June 19, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Phil from Chelsea, MA

    He shouldn't. Obama is not fit to be president of the United States.

    As a Republican, I thank you Mr. Clinton for not supporting a candidate as arrogant, unpatriotic, and unexperienced as Obama.

    McCain for President 08: He's the only candidate with the experience and knowledge to guide this great country!

    June 19, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Micah

    I believe you meant to write "way" not "war," though I must say, given the recent primary, "war" might fit just as well.

    As for my opinion, I hope he doesn't bother, for Obama's sake.

    June 19, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. The Truth Shall Set You Free

    Unlikely after watching Larry Sinclair's press conference on YouTube.

    June 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Andrew

    Obama doesn't even need Bill or Hillary... he can win on his own.

    June 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Muttel in NY

    NEVER!

    June 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Bill is busy with other ladies

    Who cares. Obama doesn't need him

    June 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Chris from NY

    The guy has it bad for Obama. whenever he talked about Obama on the campaign trail he fumed. I will suggest he cool off as much as he can and wait for an invitation from Obama which I know Obama being who he is will soon extend to him (Clinton).

    June 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Dennis

    "I am sure he will be on the Obama bandwagon openly and energetically fairly soon. But I wonder what’s taking so long. Then again, is it really all that long?"

    You're a genius, Wolf... really... you are.

    Cool name, bad journalist.

    June 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. La Raza

    Clinton has ruined any reputation or fond memory I once had for him. He is worse than the Republican haters.

    June 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. ch

    Bill should endorse if / when:

    1 Hillary is named as VP

    2 Obama apologizes for his sleazy attempt to paint Bill and Hillary Clinton as racists despite their 35 year public and well documented record of supporting civil rights.

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Never Obama

    The Clintons should spit on the Obamas.

    Both Obamas trashed the Clintons publically time and again.

    Now the Obamas get rewarded for that treachery?

    Why? Because it is time for a Democrat in the white house?

    So we will install the least qualified candidate, who has never done anything for his country, and who flip flops on all his positions and who has absolutely NO track record.

    Good work, America.

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Boomer

    Hillary knows how to let go. Some of her supporters don't. It's like taking a pacifier from a baby. Hillary has gotten behind Obama and told her supporters to do so. Bill will definitely campaign for Obama. Those Hillary die-hards who are threatening to vote for Grandpappy McCain are trying to make sure that Hillary's ideas on the environment, health care and Iraq never see the light of day. Of course I suspect that Andrew and Sam are really 70 year old Republicans trying to stir up trouble. As for women, Obama leads among them by over twenty points except for Desiree whose real name is Jarret and who lives in Texas and always votes Republican.

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. SRD

    Obama all the way. He won the election and if Clinton is angry because his wife lost the election playing by the exact system and rules that she wanted to use if only the 200 delegates would have defected from Obama (which was her plan) but they refused–now he is upset that they choose him over them–he need to go for therapy to get over it.

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Monte - Ex Democrat

    Chelsea has her own life to live. Leave her alone. She didn't sign on to support Obama, only her mother! Find something else to bash the Clintons on. I'm sure you can come up with some tidbit and beat it to death.

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. obama=underhanded liar

    I don't know why any of the Clinton's should do anything for obama. They don't owe the liar anything.I don't hear of these questions being ask of Richardson or Edwards.

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Emmanuel

    They both ran a wonderful campaign but the best team..... Obama won. I think the former President should do the right thing by endorsing Obama and campaign for him. We cannot let the Republicans win another term.

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. I used to be a Democrat

    President Clinton should not endorse Obama now or ever.

    Obama = Dukasis = McGovern

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. La Chatte, Portland, OR

    Perhaps Bill hasn't endorsed Obama because he, like many of us, thinks he's a really poor choice. In this day and age of Republican bashing, why is the race a statistical tie? From what I've been reading, it's to a large extent because of Obama's lack of experience! Excuse me while I laugh out loud at the sheer stupidity of the Democrats. If there's a way to lose a guaranteed election, they will find it. Pitiful, really.

    June 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. John from LA

    Why are the bots so filled with Anger at the Clintons??-BO has the nom-Bots need to tone down the hate!-I thought bots followed new rules in politics-no hate speech, no neg. campaigning...

    June 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. True

    When Rumsfeld endorses McCain...

    June 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Kurt

    "When he wants to do something, he has a knack of doing it in a spectacular war."

    Are we sure that's not Bush Wolf is talking about?

    June 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Without Clinton Obama Can't Win

    I agree. I think Bill should wait to see who Obama taps to be VP. If it's not Hillary he shouldn't give a big MAJOR endorse and say he supports him, blah blah. Bill should just give a speech at the Convention in Denver outlining Hillary's historic run!

    June 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Kim

    Don't do it Bill, don't go down on tht sinking ship. Obama was disrespectful to you and your administration, he tried to downplay your accomplishments, don't you dare back this puppet.

    June 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Nancy S - Los Angeles

    the Clintons are Democratic establishment figures. They and their follows are, and will, back the Democratic nominee – Barack Obama. Besides that, no feminist in her right mind is going to publicly back (let alone vote for) an anti-abortion candidate like John McCain. Hillary's supporters are not stupid.

    June 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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