October 11th, 2010
11:43 AM ET
4 years ago

Bill Clinton: The man in demand for Democrats

(CNN) - Call Bill Clinton the Democrat's go to guy this election year, and this week he's going to make a lot of stops on the campaign trail.

The former president starts Monday in Kentucky, where he teams up with Jack Conway, the state's attorney general and the Democratic Senate nominee. The former president headlines a Conway rally in Lexington on the campus of the University of Kentucky and separately help Conway raise campaign cash at a fundraiser. Conway is battling Republican nominee Rand Paul to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning.

Next Clinton heads to West Virginia, where he's the main attraction at a rally in Morgantown, West Virginia for Gov. Joe Manchin. The popular two-term Democrat is the party's Senate nominee in a special election this November to fill the final two years of the term of Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who died earlier this year. Byrd was first elected to the Senate in 1958. Manchin faces off against Republican nominee and businessman John Raese.

Later Monday Clinton flies to Syracuse, New York, where he headlines a rally for Rep. Dan Maffei, who represents the state's 25th congressional district. The freshman Democratic congressman faces a challenging re-election this year.

What do all three stops have in common?

They are all areas where moderate to conservative voters predominate, and where arguably the former president may be more popular that President Barack Obama.

"It's no secret that President Obama isn't particularly popular in some parts of the country. Democrats are thankful they've got a former president who is still popular with the base and can hit the campaign trail in places where Obama can't go," says Nathan Gonzales, political editor at the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. "Blue-collar Democratic voters have never been Obama's base, so Democrats are relying on President Clinton to rally those voters and help Democratic incumbents up and down the ballot."

Take West Virginia. Soon after the Manchin last week announced Clinton's Monday visit, the Raese campaign responded, putting out a release accusing the governor for being a flip-flopper, pointing to comments Manchin made earlier on MSNBC. When asked in an interview whether he would want President Barack Obama to come and campaign for him, Manchin said "I've never had people come and campaign for me. I've always done my own campaigns."

"The Governor considers President Clinton to be a long-time friend, not a current elected official, and it's a shame that John Raese doesn't understand the difference," responded Manchin campaign spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg.

Monday's just the start of a busy week that will take Clinton across the country. The former president campaigns for Democrats in Arkansas, Nevada, New Mexico and California the rest of the week. Next week he'll be stumping in Washington State, Colorado, and Florida.

Polls indicate that Clinton is very popular with Americans. His favorable rating stood at 65 percent in an AP-GfK survey conducted in August and at 61 percent in a Gallup poll conducted in July.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Dan Maffei • Jack Conway • Joe Manchin • Kentucky • New York • West Virginia
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Person

    Go Bill! Remind these people what it's like when Democrats clean up the economy after failed Rethuglican policies!

    October 11, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    We all know that Bill Clinton is beloved politician. The candidates he is stumping for need his support because these candidates are primarily in conservative states. Bill Clinton is a democrat with fiscal conservative values. He's the perfect man to rally the base of support in states like W. Virginia and Kentucky.

    October 11, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. aam

    Leave it to Bill Clinton to do the heavylifting for this sorry administration.

    October 11, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Jackie Wilson

    If the Republicans think we are going to stay home,they are sadly mistaken. This is the time our party needs us (seniors) and we will be at the polls. I want no more of the Republican policies in the government nor anymore of Gingrich and the Bushs Rally folks. We are needed.......................

    October 11, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Cherie

    Boy these Dems are in truoble huh? I mean they got the President flying all over on our dime, I mean dollars to save his sorry congress. Now Bill Clinton is getting in on the action. lol Scared are yeah? lol
    We are kicking your butts out of office! The Congress is a joke and that is where ol Berry came from with his PRESENT voting record! get a grip people! do you really want them to spend our money on stupid studies and crap! NO? THEN VOTE THEM OUT!

    October 11, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. PalmReader

    Either way the coin falls this mid-term, whether the TeaPartiers get their candidates elected or not, they will remain upset and angry. Those candidates TeaPartiers are supporting can't themselves figure out what it is they represent, let alone what it is their constituents want. Majority or not . . . the TeaPartiers are in for one rude awakening.

    October 11, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama is moving this country into the 21st Century, Republicans want to "repeal" the 21st Century. Karl Rove is truly a representative of Bush/Cheney policies and Americans can't see their footprint. Why would anyone want to see Rove's face, especially the families of those who died in war due to Bush/Cheney/Rove lies. We can't revive our dead soldiers, why should we revive Karl Rove.

    October 11, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    "What do all three stops have in common?"

    "They are all areas where moderate to conservative voters predominate, and where arguably the former president may be more popular..." than an African American President, Barack Obama. PERIOD!!!

    I guess CHERIE doesn't realize that this is CAMPAIGN SEASON!! That is what you do – fly around the country and campaign!! It's not about being SCARED @CHERIE – it's about combating the FEAR-MONGERING coming from the EXTREME ad RADICAL right that we have to remind Americans!!

    Also CHERIE – the 'sorry' congress you're talking about has RepubliCAN'Ts there too that the FAR-RIGHT is trying to 'get out of office'!! The Congress will be more of 'a joke' is people like NV-Angle, DE-O'DumbBELL, SC-daMINTYnotSOfreshness, AK-'Miller High Life', KY-Paul – How's that for name-calling "BERRY CHERIE"!!

    DEMOCRATS – Ignore the bloggers that are stuck on STUPID and get out and VOTE in November 2010!! WAKE UP and smell the CORRUPTION!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message and 'normally' don't PICK on BLOGGERS but 'SCARY CHERIE' called our President – BERRY!!!

    October 11, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Irma in North Carolina

    If the republicans get in, the country will be in the ditch again. We do not need any tea party near D.C. And we dont need any more republicans to say No to every thing the president tries to do. We must be the laughing stock of the whole world. We need the Clinton times back again. I am sure Bill can help talk some sense into people as to what is at steak here.

    October 11, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Bill

    Why don't stories like this ever point out Clinton's abysmal record at getting other Democrats elected? He was 0 for 9 in 1993 and couldn't even keep a Dem in the Lt Gov chair in his home state. He lost 54 seats & both houses in 1994 & never got them back. He campaigned for Kerry who lost and Hillary who lost. The only success the Democrats have had with him are his own elections & 1998 when he didn't campaign. So much for the genius myth of Clinton.

    October 11, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. fayse1

    The Repulicans have worked long and hard on their smear campaign. They vote no even to the detriment of the well being of Americans. The Republicans are using the "Big Lie" strategy, don't let this happen.

    October 11, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. LacrosseMom(real one)

    President Obama IS out campaigning, and I am grateful that Bill Clinton is out also! Far better, than what the GOP-Koch-Teas are doing! The Republicans and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is using FOREIGN money to buy the U.S. elections! THIS should make us, ALL, very concerned!

    There was a VERY interesting poll out a couple of weeks ago, from Public Religion Research Institute that found "55% of Independent voters (not 'likely' voters but.... voters)..... and 79% of Democrats SUPPORT candidates that voted FOR the Healthcare Reform Bill"! That bucks what other polls from conservative pollsters have been saying.

    To Republicans, I say, careful not to count your chickens before they hatch! Majority of Americans will surprise YOU!

    America, ask yourselves, what has the GOP done for America lately? Be specific.

    October 11, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. John G

    Obama's now TOXIC !!! Hence Clinton campaigning.

    October 11, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Geri in Tx

    I'm so tired of Obama bashing. For eight years we had the worst president. What did he do for the this country. A war homes lost economy in the garbage what good did his leadership bring. People open your eyes stop listening to the BS let your small minds get past color. And stand behind those who want to help. Republicans want to cut education Social Sercuity and pad their rich cronies pockets with more money. Stop the madness

    October 11, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Drake Jefferson

    So the Demorcratic base needs a has been, washed up adulterer to come rally them up and get then excited for more change to come? Doesn't Bill Clinton still have a marriage to save? HIS OWN!!!!

    October 11, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. Ellie Light

    Benjamin Franklin wrote that "nothing is certain but death and taxes," but that is only half-true. There is absolutely nothing dead-certain about taxes this year.

    Unless Congress acts soon, almost all of the "Bush tax cuts" and credits that were enacted in 2001 and 2003 will expire at the end of this year. Most financial analysts and Washington insiders say they don't expect that to happen. But if it does, you - the American taxpayer - are in for a tax hike. A big one.

    Here's what it will mean to you:

    – The standard percent rates - the baseline percentage of your income that goes to the government - will universally rise, at an estimated cost of roughly $157 billion annually; from 10 percent to 15 (for lowest-income earners), from 25 percent to 28, from 28 percent to 31, from 33 percent to 36, and from 35 percent to 39.6 percent (for highest-income earners).

    – Indexing of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which ensures that taxpayers who benefit from itemized reductions and/or credits pay a separately calculated minimum tax, will expire.

    – Taxes on capital gains and dividends will increase, potentially costing investors an estimated $35 billion annually.

    – Married couples who saw their standard deduction raised to that of double the single amount will go back to paying higher rates, at a cost of roughly $32 billion a year.

    – Expanded tax credits like the child tax credit, which previously increased to $1,000 from $500, will expire, costing American families an estimated $26 billion a year.

    – The already-expired estate tax would revert back to 2009 levels, translating to a minimum estimate of $26 billion to heirs and heiresses.

    – The personal exemption phase-out (PEP), which allowed high-income filers to deduct the full value of their personal exemptions and itemized deductions, will expire, potentially costing wealthy households about $21 billion.

    "As a general matter, everybody is affected, maybe except for certain seniors," said Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "All taxpayers have something at stake."

    For the family of four bringing in a combined income of $75,000, the expiration of all Bush-era tax cuts will amount to a tax increase of $2,143 next year, according to the Tax Foundation's 2011 Income Tax Calculator.

    A family of four earning $150,000 would see its income tax burden increase by $4,510 to $23,150, according to the Tax Foundation.

    Single filers, meanwhile, would see their taxes rise by $605 at the $50,000 income plateau and by $1,355 at $75,000. A single filer earning $150,000, including $15,000 in long-term capital gains, would pay an extra $3,269, with a total tax liability of $28,340.

    A single parent of one child earning $25,000 would see his tax liability rise by $955, decreasing his tax refund of $1,856 to just more than $900. A low-income family of five earning a total of $45,000 would see their taxes increase by $2,538, equating to a total tax liability of $1,028.

    An upper-middle income family of four with two earners pulling in $150,000, including $15,000 in long-term capital gains, would see their taxes increase by $3,802. That family's total tax burden? Roughly $21,600.

    A high-income family of four, meanwhile, with a combined income of $300,000 and $20,000 in itemized deductions, would see their taxes jump by more than $11,000 if Congress allows all of the Bush-era tax cuts to expire. That equals a total tax liability of $68,392.

    For even higher earners - such as a married couple with no children making $420,000 in total income and with $20,000 deductions apiece for state and local taxes, mortgage interest and charitable contributions - that total tax liability grows to $106,815, or an increase of more than $16,600 from 2010.

    Further up the income ladder, a married couple earning $700,000 in wages with $300,000 worth of long-term capital gains and qualified dividends and $95,000 in deductions for mortgage interest and state/local income taxes would see their tax share grow by $61,206.

    Finally, a retired married couple with a combined income of $60,000 - including $10,000 in qualified dividends, $25,000 in Social Security benefits and $10,000 in 401(k) distributions - would see their tax liability increase by $2,676.

    "If all the tax cuts expire, everyone stands to lose," said Mark Robyn, a staff economist for the Tax Foundation. "A lot of people like to paint the Bush tax cuts as having only benefited the rich, which is not true - you can simply look at the estimates."

    Citing estimates from the Office of Management and Budget, Robyn said letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire only for high-income people would raise $630 billion over 10 years, compared to $3 trillion during the same period if all the tax cuts were to expire.

    Robyn said one of the biggest tax cuts for middle-income earners was the creation of the 10 percent bracket, which will rise to 15 percent if Congress doesn't act. He also cited the significant impact of doubling the child tax credit to $1,000. That, too, will expire unless a compromise is reached in Washington.

    "That's a pretty significant tax cut," Robyn said. "If that were to go back, I think a lot of people would feel that. That's a dollar for dollar decrease in your tax liability."

    October 11, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. p.h

    the senior citizens ought to ask the gop what r u going to do for us. you will be suprised by the tea party = gop response. sometimes we think the grass is greener on the other side. i still remember the high gas prices and my 401k plan under the gop

    October 11, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Rita_S

    He's coming to my hometown on Thursday. Can't wait to see him.

    October 11, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Dems can use president clinton help. GOP is simply destructive to middle class in this great nation

    October 11, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Bender

    NYC Mayor Bloomberg rips state Board of Elections for its failure to send absentee ballots to more than 50,000 city residents serving overseas in the military — among 320,000 statewide — a violation of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE)

    October 11, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. Naze

    You republican should be shame of yourself, you guys are the one who messes everything up and now you blaming it on the democrats, every time you republican take over you always leavinga messed for the democrats to clean.

    October 11, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Abe

    President Clinton is the man who can rave up the Democratic base an get ready to vote in November. He is my favorite president. He was our two term president who knows how to talk to people and a lot of experience in how to thread the rough waters and come up with a compromise and a solution.President Obama is a good president as well, but he is facing a problem not of his making but the future administration. The public has to be dumb to think things will get better over night. He has done a good job from keeping wall street alive and not let it collapse that might have caused a global catastrophe. The voters the only thing they do is always wait for elections to voice there opinions. It is just like saying wait until the next election and we will throw them out of office. We need to keep the government / our representatives accountable through out there full term in office. Thank you President Clinton for helping your party as well as president Obama and help the party still control the house. Keep hammering at the Republicans because everything they say sounds like a broken record.

    October 11, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. lenora

    DEMOCRATS don't be fooled into thinking its over! I watched five lane street about 3miles long be repaved last week. That same street which runs in front of the areas major hospital has torn up 2 tiress of mine in 7yrs. I asked 2 men working on the paving why now...response "we are just glad to finally be working" . Be patient things are getting bette.

    October 11, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. jonathan

    Bill Clinton for president!

    October 11, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. MacTooley

    Yeah you do that Slick Willie Just dont fail to mention as president you severly cut the military and had your thug of an attorney general Janet Reno threaten big banks with lawsuits for discriminating against African Americans if they didnt approve loans that would have been most likely turned down Barney (worst politician on the planet) Frank was all over Blame Bush all you like but that housing bubble was even more on you guys but never a mention of it Enjoy the Marxist Machines collapse Just hope it aint to late

    October 11, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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