June 19th, 2008
02:51 PM ET
7 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. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    One question – Would that be a GOOD thing or a BAD thing??
    Sort of like Prince John slapping Robin Hood on the back!!!

    June 19, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Who gives a rat's rump? Mr. Bill lost all cred in the last 6 months...If Hillary had ditched him a couple years ago, she'd probably be the candidate...

    June 19, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. NoMcSame

    Bill who?

    June 19, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. Ding, Washington, DC

    Thanks Wolf for this article. Chelsea Clinton is an awesome young lady. I hope the Obama camp make her a manager of some sort. She will be great!.

    June 19, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Anonymous

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

    Nice proof-reading

    June 19, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Nia - AZ by way of MN

    P.S. Hillary made her big endorsement and has yet to do anything active within the Obama camp. granted it was just three weeks ago that she suspended the writting has been on the wall for months that she wasn't going to win

    June 19, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Alex

    Interesting slip of the keyboard:

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

    That's more George W. Bush's style, I'm afraid.

    June 19, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. RENEA

    I THINK BILL CLINTON WOULD BE A HYPOCRIT IF HE ENDORSED OBAMA. AFTER ALL BILL FEELS THAT OBAMA STOLE THE NOMINATION FROM HILLARY AND SMEARED HIS GOOD NAME TO BOOT! AS A OBAMA SUPPORTER I WOULD NOT BELIEVE HIM ANY WAY.

    June 19, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. kp

    Bill is just being a sourpuss. He refuses to accept the reality that he will not be in the white house for the third time next year with the title of "First Husband"

    June 19, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. politic soup

    why should he? Obama criticized him, insulted him too much.......

    June 19, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. John

    Never, he will never back Obama and he shouldnt unless he chooses Hillary CLinton as VP.

    Get real they called him a racist, WOlf, and that is unforgivable.

    After the smear campaign the Obama team and the media have run against him he has a right not to back Obama.

    June 19, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. al

    **********************************
    WELL......(with finger waving)................LET ME TELL YOU THIS..........I WILL DO IT AS SOON AS I FEEL LIKE IT.
    I'M BILL FOR CHRISTS SAKE.

    June 19, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Sante

    HE SHOULD NOT LIFT HIS FINGER FOR THAT MANIPULATOR!

    IF YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE AMERICAN, HOWEVER ARE YOU:
    PLEASE NO, NO OBAMA ; AT LEAST FOR NOW!!!!

    ALSO, DNC DO NOT LIKE CLINTONS ANY MORE. SOLUTION: CLINTONS SHOULD LEAVE THE PARTY!
    ONCE COULD TAKE INSOLTS UP TO A POINT!
    AMERICANS ARE READY FOR A THIRD PARTY!

    June 19, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. joann

    Hopefully never!! I will never back Obama – he's no different than any other candidate yet he used the race card to get where he is – the media was so rotten to Hillary they are also responsible as well as the superdeligates. All traitors. Never vote Obama.

    June 19, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Yes.We.Can.

    Bill had completely destroyed his own legacy in my eyes. Over the last few weeks since Hillary’s withdrawal, I found it easy to understand Hillary and her standing in my list of heroes has risen again. but every time I think of Bill, I see him wagging that I-did-not-have... finger back at us.

    Who cares what Chelsea thinks?

    June 19, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. SZ

    Ask not what Barack Obama can do for you, ask what you can do for Barack Obama.

    What will *you* for him today?

    June 19, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. ZackeryQuack

    Who cares!?

    Today is a new awaking for progressives. One that has no place for the perversions of the Clintons.

    June 19, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. MD FOR OBAMA

    when Hillary is added to the ticket

    June 19, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. al

    *********************************
    WELL..........(with finger waving).........LET ME TELL YOU THIS....I WILL DO IT AS SOON AS I FEE LLIKE IT.
    I'M BILL FOR GOD'S SAKE.

    June 19, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Sabrina

    I hope Never, after the way the Obama campaign made him out as a racist and Obama never stepped in to stop it, but of course that was his plan. Bill will hold his nose and do the right thing for the party......... but I don't have to. I will not vote for Hillary but I will make my vote count and vote for McCain. McClinton 08

    June 19, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    When Hill freezes over!!!

    June 19, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. xddy4u

    Wolf, I know you want the Clintons back on stage so you can have something to keep s–t stirred with. Without them you have an empty
    chamber pot.

    June 19, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. ml

    why Chelsea should endorse him?

    Bill Clintons is such a great person with so much charisma! The room lights up when he enters. Why he should endorse Obama? Hillary did, and this should be enough, am I right?

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

    Maybe he just doesnt want to.......and who would blame him.. NoBama JustSayNoDeal

    June 19, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Sam

    Hillary all the way.

    June 19, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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