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. Anonymous

    Blitzer, you need to learn from Tim Russert! He was a simple man. He left an empty space in American media 4 ever. One can not replace!

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Cameron

    I agree Andrew. Wouldn't that be a shocker!

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Bob-a-latte

    Wolf,

    Thank you for informing us that President and Mrs. Clinton attended the memorial service. I believe that the Clintons purposely kept their attendance low key so they would not upstage Mr. Obama.

    No one else in the press seems to be reporting that they attended. I'm not surprised, since that would not serve the interests of the Clinton haters to report on them in a positive manner.

    I believe President Clinton will take his cues from Mr. Obama on the timing and staging of an endorsement. The two men probably need to meet and start a converstion first to clear the air after the primary season.

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Al, San Francisco, CA

    You support McCain, this country will sink even lower. Please tell me if you see anything good. Please do not fool yourself thinking McCain will be different from Bush. I mean the economy is in the tank, America's standing in the world is at it's lowest, the Iraq war etc etc. Republicans replaced a liberal Moslem leader with some dieahard fanatics in Iraq. Women were free under Saddam. Now women who go to beauty perlour are killed. Women are forced to wear Borkha in today's Iraq. We need a change. Enough with fake conservative.

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Bella from Florida

    Why should he? They worked very hard I think it's time for them to take a long vacation.

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. LGriff

    The Clintons are sore losers. Obama doesn't need that. He's doing just fine without them. Shame on the Clintons for acting this way and to have 18million americans to act the same way. Obama 08/12

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Politico

    Not until after the convention, I suspect... if then. The Clintons are petty like that.

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Shashidhar

    For the sake of America, I hope that Bill and Hillary Clinton will give the benefit of their generous experience to Senator Obama, to put an end to the slightest possibility of a continuation of the 3rd Bush term in the garb of Senator McCain.

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Edu

    His endorsement is not important. Wther he endorse him or not Obama is destined to be the next president of America!

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Sylvia Johnsen

    Don't do it Bill!

    Go to the convention, fight – it's the right any candidate has in an election. The right to loose is an honorable fight.

    The Dems convention, the one debate Obama cannot run away from.

    June 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. rachel

    It hasnt been that long, and Obama's nose is so far up in the air and poltically slapping Hillary by hiring someone she let go, that Obama doesnt feel he needs the endorsement. I hope soon we can see them all give each other a big hug, I am waiting for the Michelle and Hillary Clinton fist pound.

    June 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Hillary most likely will not be Obama's VP; there's not point in setting yourselves up with false hope, just keepin' it real. There are legitimate reasons Obama cannot add her even if he wanted to. Too much of Bill's baggage with Monica as well as other money related issues will destroy the democrats chances in November and then Hillary's issues and statements she made in the primary against Obama will and IS being used against Obama now. It would not work out.

    June 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. FRANK

    R E S P E C T

    HILLARY SHOULD BE VP

    AND IF NOT BILL SHOULD NOT CAMPAIN FOR OBAMA AT ALL!!

    IF HILLARY IS NOT ASKED IT WILL BE A DOUBLE SLAP IN FACE TO CLINTON SUPORTERS!! THE FIRST BEING THE FACT THAT SHE DID WIN THE POPULAR VOTE!! AND DID RECEIVE MORE VOTES THAT OBAMA!! GUESS WELL WAIT AND SEE, AT LEAST WE CAN ALWAYS FALL BACK ON THE DEMOCRATS FAV REPUBLICAN-INDEPENDANT JOHN MCCAIN!!

    June 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. 1926

    Big surprise at the convention. Wait and see!!!!!!!

    June 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Pat

    Blitzer, you need to learn from Tim Russert! He was a simple man. He left an empty space in American media 4 ever. One can not replace!

    June 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. BK

    Don't do it Bill. Obama is a liar and a fraud. I have a lot of respect for the Sentors who say they do not trust Obama and will not endorse him. Someone needs to stand up and say Obama should not be president.

    June 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Gerry

    I hope he never does. The very best thing Bill Clinton could do to help Obama is go on an extended trip to China and play with the Panda's.

    June 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    i just don't want to see a forced endorsement...

    If she isn't on the ticket... I'm positive she'll be SOME part of his administration!

    Lets all just get out of our own way...

    -V

    June 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Clinton Supporter

    After Obama said Reagan was a better president than Clinton, I doubt he is anxious to campaign for him.

    McCain 2008, Hillary 2012
    Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less

    June 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Brian Knoxville, TN

    It's tough to say exactly when Bill Clinton, who had been endorsing the best candidate that the Democratic Party has had run in so many years, will through his support behind the selected nominee of the undemocratic Democratic Party, especially considering what the so-called leaders failed to do to make sure the the contest for the nomination was conducted fairly and in accordance with our Democratic principles. I'd have to say that Bill Clinton would do well if he were never to endorse the Chosen One.

    Puma Pac

    June 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Samuel T. Horton

    For the love of god , I hope the 42nd president does NOTHING to help Obama.

    In fact, I wouldnt blame him at all if he went out and campaigned for Mc Cain.

    Obama was the guy who lumped President Clinton in with RICHARD NIXON to behold Ronald Reagan.

    The media and the Obama campaign treated him like GARBAGE.

    June 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Cecilia from San Jose, CA

    Are the Clintons obligated to endorse Obama?

    If not, quit hounding them and let them continue with their lives.

    June 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. DAN

    They called President Clinton a racist and that is why he should never endorse Obama. Rather Obama shoiuld ask Nancy Reagans endorsement since Obama thinks that Ronald Reagan brought more change in a way Clinton and Nixon never did. Bill Clinton actually helped the AA community, balance the budget, eliminated the deficit, left a surplus, and created 22 million jobs. somthing Reagan never did but even though Hillary's out of the race cnn still likes to trash the Clintons. Wolf was very hard on the president in the 90's and ask him why he wouldn't resign and was proud of asking him what he would say to Lewinski's parents as a got ya question. Nobama, vote for the green party for a weak McCain win. We'll be just fine with a democratic house and senete with a weak McCain presidency. until the right person comes along.

    June 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. ALLBAMALLTHETIME

    It's already plain that they are not "campaigning their hearts out." LIARS and CHEATS.

    June 19, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. yardstylze

    I wouldn't hold my breathe

    June 19, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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