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. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    WE WERE TRUE TO HIM & ELECTED HIM PRESIDENT TWICE.

    HE WILL BE TRUE TO US & HELP ELECT OUR CHOICE FOR

    PRESIDENT OF THESE GREAT STATES, TWICE.

    June 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. don't do it bill

    The Obama campaign did nothing but trash the Clinton presidency and bash and attack BOTH Clintons.

    Why should either one of them back Obama?

    As a HRC supporter, I plan to vote against the hateful cheating tactics employed by the Obama campaign to secure the nomination.

    June 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. go away mongers-Ventura ca

    CNN LOVES to stir up TROUBLE! Let's report on the ISSUES shall we – and let the party unite.
    This stuff is absurd at best.

    June 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Jack

    Wolf,
    You just keep coming with these creative themes for Clintons. Your next blog will probably read: "When will Chelsey Clinton back Obama?"

    June 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Linda

    Earth revolves around the sun-not the Clintons.

    June 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. fairandstraight

    Obama does not really need the endorsement of an impeached president.

    No true democrat will back McCain. The Hillary followers that plans to vote for McCain intended to vote for him in the first place. Many people wanted Hillary to be the nominee for that purpose.

    Obama for president 08

    June 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Bella from Florida

    Mr. Blitzer leave the Clintons alone!
    President Clinton was treated like "the enemy" during the primaries so I do not think he should be campaigning for Obama.Obama needs to apologize to President Clinton for his smear campaign against President Clinton.His campaign started playing the race card and then blamed President Clinton of it. If Obama wants to win this election ,he needs to work hard to earn it himself.

    June 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Trisha, Monsey NY

    Angry or not hes a Dem and he Must show a good example and back Obama otherwi

    June 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Jennifer

    Why should the Clintons help Obama? Obama called Bill a racist and totally insulted him. I hope Hillary runs as an indpendent.

    June 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. David C. Martinez

    What, Wolf? A spectacular "war"? That's not Bill Clinton. That's George Bush.

    June 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    He will, he's just recovering from a long campaign, even Bill was losing it towards the end

    SO GIVE BILL A BREAK,

    let him rest, he deserves it, when the time comes he'll be there for us.

    Love you Bill

    June 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Jason

    "When he wants to do something, he has a knack of doing it in a spectacular war(???!!!)." HAHAHA...ain't that the truth

    June 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Shawn T

    He won't. Too much pride, no benefit.

    June 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Andrew, it seems as though only a minority of Clinton followers have decided to support McCain.

    Well, not including the Limbaugh-Clinton "voters" in Operation Chaos.

    June 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton,TX

    Bill, who?

    June 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Kojo

    Formally he has do to it but as to whether he has his heart in it nobody will know.

    June 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. MDW

    Tell me Wolf ( really Fox) why is this a relevent question ..that is to say Obama does not need Bill at all.

    June 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Soldier's Mom

    Come on people! The Clinton's HAVE and WILL CONTINUE to be devoted Democrats - they know we need to have a Democrat in the White House ... why don't the Clinton's supporters know the same thing? If you vote for McCain - you are turning your back on everything the Clinton's believe in ... think about it .... if you want to support the Clinton's vote Democrat.

    June 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Mike GVentura ca

    You "Clinton folks" should join the majority of your candidate's "followers" and unite to defeat McSame,,,,If, in fact you really are Democrats and not the gop chaos team......

    June 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Tina

    Only minimally I hope. Obviously he has to, but after Obama, his wife and several surogates trashed him and his administration repeatedly I hope he does as little as possible.

    June 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Anthony Heyward In New York City

    He is not going to back McCain to the fool at the top and most INTELLIGENT wont either. McCain DOES NOT STAND FOR WHAT HILLARY DID. VOTING FOR HIM WILL NOT HURT ANYONE BUT YOU, NOT OBAMA. SO VOTE FOR OBAMA BECAUSE HE WON THE CONTEST AND HIS IDEALS ARE MUCH MORE SIMILAR TO HILLARYS THAN MCCAINS. WHY IS THAT SUCH A HARD THING TO UNDERSTAND.

    June 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Michelle, Florida

    Bill and Chelsea should support McCain :) I bet they cast their votes for him, Hillary too!

    June 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Voter

    He should at least congratulate Obama on playing his card well.

    June 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. al

    *****************************
    WELL..................(with pointer finger jabbing at you)...LET ME TELL YOU THIS. I WILL DO SO AS SOON AS I FEEL LIKE IT.
    I'M BILL FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.

    June 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. April

    Demhypocrisy – Hello, he's a democrat. He's a party guy. It'll happen eventually, I just wouldn't expect it to be anytime soon. If these comments are any indicator there's still some hurt feelings.

    June 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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