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. Left Coaster

    Give President Clinton some time to endorse. It will be meaningful.

    June 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. jake in Austin

    A "spectacular war" is right! That was funny!

    June 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. beebop

    Bill should endorse when Obama apologizes ... yeah, right. Obama doesn't do anything but throw people out of the way when he has finished using them. Bill should support Barry as much as Barry spoke out when the MSM slurred Chelsea. Never.

    June 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Former Dem

    Obama doesn't deserve the Clinton's support. He thinks that he's God so he really doesn't need the Clintons anyway.

    June 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. oscar

    Hillary for VP, Obama can't win without her 18 million voters she drew in .

    June 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. dennis from chicago

    why should a real president support a cocky want a beeee......maybe o bama wants bill clinton for his vice president..... he needs a committee to ponder it/////

    June 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. anyway

    I hope Hillary is not added to the ticket, He needs someone with real foreign policy experience. And for you people that keep saying McCain 2008 Hillary 2012. That means you want Obama supporters to vote for her right. The other 18 million, what if we say no, how can she win. So don't cut your nose off to spite your face.

    June 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. G

    Geez, give them a break. It was a brutal primary and they are catching their breath. They will support Obama as the Democratic nominee, naturally. But the media does not set their schedule, for crying out loud.

    June 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    I VOTED FOR BILL CLINTON TWICE & I PROMISE YOU,

    HE WILL ENDORSE AND SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA.

    THE NATION & AMERICANS ARE BIGGER TO HIM

    THAN ANY PERSONAL OR POLITICAL LOSS.

    BILL IS A TRUE PATRIOT.

    June 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. CLINTON 08 VP

    "Andrew" STOP IT, WE KNOW IT'S YOU... AGAIN

    June 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Luke

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

    Am I just reading this wrong, or is "war" supposed to be "way?"

    June 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Linda VA

    He will not cross party lines like some kind of a spoiled brat. All of Hillarys supportes are not voting for McCain, because that is just crazy and they are much smarter than that. Democrats unite.

    June 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. ???

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

    I think CNN has Clinton confused with Bush :P

    June 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Ali

    Don't do it Bill!!!!!!!!

    June 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Mary from Sarasota FL

    I was a Hillary supporter throughout her campaign and I haven't given a thought to when Bill Clinton will endorse Obama. Why do people have to be so rude about responding to your blog As to what does bill owe obama, People do things for people they owe nothing to; its called charity/loyalty to a cause and sometimes a person. He will get around to it when Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama get together and decide how to proceed. Enough already. Mary from sarasota, fl

    June 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Melanie

    I will feel bad for a lot of Hillary supporters when Obama wins in November. Nothing was stolen from her; as many of you have posted, it was a close race. Obama won. Hilary ran a GREAT race, but in all races, there must be a winner. I know that most Hilary supporters will come to the side of Obama, but realize that for the ones that don't, there will be those Republicans who are sick of Bush politics who will vote for Obama...so that will even things out. Obama will win in Nov.

    June 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Ben

    Just dont stain things around and ruin Obama's chances!

    June 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Nick in Fairfield CA

    When he gets over the fact that he's not going to go back to the white house. which means not anytime soon. Both Clintons are in denial and need to realize that a majority of people support Obama, so they need to do whatever they can to help him. Not make underhanded comments and implications.

    June 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Chris

    Stop the division! We're Americans FIRST, then Democrats! We must unite even if there is tension because 4 more years of Bush is NOT good! McCain has even less experience in "economics" than Bush!

    June 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. JimS.

    Do you guys stay up late nights, looking for fights to pick or muck to rake?

    June 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Independent LAWYER for Obama

    Wolf – you don't even sound like a journalist in this article. Seriously, if I wanted to read random stream-of-consciousness "thoughts on life," I could check my email.

    June 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. jimmy

    You Hillary supportes, get over it. she lost fair and square. Whether he endorses him or not, Obama is still the Democratic nominee. This will never change no matter how sour Hillary supporters are.

    June 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Jacob

    ...in a spectacular WAR or way? See the mistake?

    June 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. D from Ashburn

    Bill's endorsement of Hillary did not help her, it might have actually cost her big time......

    Therefore from a person who wants to see change I ask "Bill, please stay out of politics until the elections are over and won by Obama in Nov."

    June 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. SCHERRY SEWELL

    I HOPE HE AND HILLARY WOULD TELL THE DEMOCRAT S TO TAKE A FLYING LEAP . I'VE BEEN A DEMOCRAT "MY ENTIRE ADULT LIFE" TAKE A LEAP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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