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. Nicole in NE

    People on these blogs are ridiculous. PUMA? give me a break

    I am glad the Democratic party is uniting and I hope Bill gives that speech soon.

    DEMOCRATS!

    June 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. NO TO OBAMA

    I hope he never does. It really doesn't matter anyway. Millions of Democrats will not vote for arrogant and hypocritical Obama no matter who endorses him.

    June 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Rea

    Please don't support Senator Obama
    He was unfair with Michigan and Florida and never said a kind word about either of the Clintons.
    And they are "superstars".
    The media painted them wrong all the way.
    It's a disgrace.

    June 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    Bill is still trying to get over the fact that she lost, They are not use to losing, they are sore losers I 'm sure he will endorse him because it would not look good if he didn't and trust me if he could get by with out doing it, he would.

    Obama 08

    June 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. AHerbert; San Diego, CA

    Bill Clinton is an excellent politician and any support he wants to give Obama will be welcomed. It will be away to Unite the party ....

    June 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Thomas

    I think Bill just may stay away from the rest of the election, its starting to look like Obama has asked Hillary and Bill to stay away... AND I HOPE THEY DO!

    June 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Franky

    Just as long he's cool Wolf! I mean, I don't care who can help out! If you wanna help or take your time, then that's fine by me, I don't care! I'm not pressuring no one...

    June 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    He'll stop smoking cigars before he endorses McSame. So, alleged Hillary supporters give it a rest.

    He will vigerously support his parties candidate, because he knows what the stakes are for this great nation, and he couldn't stomach four more years of these failed policies with a McBush Presidency.

    June 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Michelle

    I hope this sentence contains a typo.

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

    June 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Nolen in Atlanta, GA

    Wasn't Bill Senator Obama's mentor for a brief stint? Sure he'll back Senator Obama. It'll be a bigger than life media event with everyone covering it and lots and lots and lots of Clinton-esque touches. I doubt a former Democrat and President wouldn't be front and center at the election of another Democrat as President.

    June 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Anthony

    Lets go Bill, just bite the bullet n do it!

    June 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. jfs Memhis, Tn

    If he doesn't he will reveal TO ALL how much of a party person he is....and .... how much he cares about the future of all Americans. I'll bet he does. There's too much a stack for Chelsea and Hillary to be a sore loser !!!

    June 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Nova from NV

    The Obama supporters are arrogant. Let's vote McCain in Nov.

    June 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Marlie:

    I hope he never comes back – ever.

    June 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Angel in NV

    DEMS UNITE!!! Obama-Clinton 08'

    June 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Independent

    His endorsement is meaningless, Barack can win without him or the Hillary finactics. True democratics will elevate him to victory.

    June 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. kenny cole

    Am waiting for the DDay

    June 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Bart

    Wolf,

    I think you meant Bill has a knack for doing something in a spectacular way, not a spectacular war. Freudian slip?

    June 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. David from Georgia

    This election isn't about Bill Clinton. It's been roughly eight years since he held office. Whether Bill gets behind Obama or not, makes no difference to me. Obama has already proven himself. Obama and his team can run a successful campaign with or without Bill. Hillary has also proven herself to be a good candidate. I hope her supporters listen to her and get behind Obama.

    Obama '08

    June 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. gee

    Never, They don't need the Clinton's remember.

    June 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Neil

    hopefully NEVER. After the way the DNC and Obama campaign treated the clintons, particularly Bill Clinton – I hope he doesn't endorse obama at all....

    I'm still hoping Hillary takes it back at the convention.

    NOBAMA.

    June 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Mark

    HAHA Little Clinton apologists. Obama is the future, the Clinton brand name is the past. After this election there will never be another Clinton mentioned for the white house. Never again! No more lying ,adulterous Clinton influences! Down with them once and for all!

    June 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Down with Obama

    I hope the hell Bill never does. Obama is evil and will lose by a landslide in November. More and more people are seeing Obama for what he really is everyday (an empty suit).

    We don't want Hillary on the ticket with that Loser Obama!!!

    PUMA POWER

    June 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. Joe Reg

    Clinton is building up the

    Drama to its crescendo before

    Making the endorsement.

    June 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Michele

    Gee Blitzer

    You'd think he might want to take advantage of the opportunity to restore his legacy.

    On the other hand, how do you control the guy? He didn't do much to help his wife did he!

    June 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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