January 8th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Bill Clinton: Can't make Hillary 'younger'


The Clintons at a recent New Hampshire campaign stop. (Photo Credit: AP)

(CNN) - Bill Clinton joked Sunday night he is unable to change some of wife Hillary's chief differences with rival Barack Obama, the latest comments from the former president to cause a stir on the campaign trail.

At a campaign event in New Hampshire, Clinton conceded he and his wife "can't be a new story," and went on to suggest he can't make his wife morph into the senator from Illinois.

"I can't make her younger, taller, male, there's a lot I can't do," Clinton said to laughs.

"But if you want a president and need one, she would be by far the best," the former president added.

Clinton's comments come as most Granite State polls show his wife has fallen behind Obama in the final days before voters head to the polls. A new CNN/WMUR poll released Monday night has Obama 9 points ahead of the New York Democrat.

The comments aren't the first off-hand remarks from the former president to come under scrutiny, and he has attracted as many negative headlines as positive ones as he campaigns on behalf of his wife.

Last month, the former president came under fire for suggesting that if his wife is elected president, he and former President Bush would tour the world in a diplomatic mission to undo the harm the current president has done. Former President Bush, the current president's father, later said he had never agreed to such a trip. He's also taken heat for saying he was always opposed to the Iraq war and suggesting electing Obama would be a risk.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (506 Responses)
  1. maricyv

    What will happen is Obama will win the next election.
    Time will tell. Clintons are out> so Edwards.
    First time in history USA will have a black president,powerful not necessary good

    January 8, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. pjonathan

    Running to redeem a father and now, a husband, is a story worth writing.
    Much has been written about George W running to redeem his father's "failure" to "go to Bagdad".
    Some has been written this time around about Senator Dodd running to redeem his father's failure-ethical lapses- and Governor Romney running to redeem his father's failure-his brainwashing comments.
    The press has been nibbling around the edges of Hillary running to redeem Bill and herself. That story, however, is the most intriguing of the bunch.

    In addition, an article written about all of these "redemption" runs would probably convince us that voters should never vote for a presidential candidate who is related to a president or presidential candidate. I think with just my information it is fair to say that redemption runs lead to poor judgment in the political decisions of a campaign and in presidential decisions, clouding both. An experienced political writer or writers would be able to fully research and present clearly the results of that research.

    I think that Hillary Clinton would still be leading if Bill Clinton had been kept in the background. What I am seeing and what I believe the press is starting to report is that Hillary's race is all about Bill redeeming Bill and Bill's legacy and Hillary redeeming Bill, Bill's legacy, and Hillary's legacy. Obama and Edwards have been clearly stating for a long time that their presidential race is about America or about the middle class or about the other America, not about them. Hillary in NH is just starting to say that her race is not about her. But she just said that the race for her is very personal, suggesting policy but in reality much more telling.

    January 10, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. pjonathan

    I think Michael Goodwin is the first to write about this factor. John F.
    Harris and Maureen Dowd also touch on this factor. However, they are just
    describing the peak of the iceberg.

    Hillary Clinton is On the Ropes (Michael Goodwin, New York Daily News)
    "The nostalgia for the '90s, a move for a restoration of the Clinton
    presidency, isn't a persuasive rationale. The flaw was on display in her
    speech – surrounded by Bill and some of his old aides, she was a tableau of
    the past, not the future."

    "She needs to come out from behind Bubba and the barricades and the imperial
    court of handlers who create a bubble."

    Hillary and Bill Clinton's time in the White house was during a much
    different, much easier time in our country's history than the next eight
    years will be.

    I think the voters realize that Hillary's claim to experience was that she
    had only some experience and that it was during that much different, much
    easier period.

    It is not all that relevant to the difficult next eight years. Her time has
    come and gone.

    I think that voters are seeing Bill Clinton as someone who rode the wave,
    not as someone who actively created the good times. The more I read and
    think about Bill, the more I see him as someone who wasted a fabulous
    opportunity to help the people of this country.

    I think that is underlying Hillary's drop in the polls and the loss in Iowa.
    If that is correct, I don't see how she can regain the lead without a very
    negative attack on Obama. I think that having Bill on the campaign trail
    was the cause of her decline. It made her look like his puppet, reminded
    people of Bill's failings to seize the fabulous opportunity, and reinforced
    the opinion that she was of the past that was much different than the

    If this is correct, Bill's taking over her campaign in NH for the next few
    days will only make matters worse for Hillary. Sharp attacks by both of
    them against Obama will also reinforce the differences between the two
    candidates. It appears that the Clintons have decided on an all or nothing
    tactic to NH.
    I encourage your reporters to check out this angle more fully and, if they
    agree, to publish an article on this aspect of the race.

    January 10, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |

    i believe hillary is the best choice, who ever watched "sicko" MIGHT like her a bit better, i totally agree with her on the health care issue. you know what? i bet the people who are saying hillary sucks are mostly men, right?? women don't have to right to be president? don't say that u don't another clinton in the white house as an excuse. what's wrong with the last clinton???

    January 15, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. Obama Staunch Supporter

    All you ridiculous idiots. Hillary and William Clinton have a lot of dirty laundry. Receiving money form the Arab world – who is bringing this up. Now, a picture with the so called "slum Lord" has surfaced and all the Clintons do is deny deny deny. We do not know this "slum Lord". YEs, just like you did not have sexual encounters with Monika. How Hillary hired private detectives and used public funds to pay for this. The private detectives were to investigate all of William's girlfriends – sexual encounters or not and make them keep quite for good. William is lucky he was not impeached. Clintons are used to getting the black votes for nothing because the blacks are idiots in that they would rather have a white prson than thier own. Wake up blacks. You think the Clintos later on the democrats have you at heart. NO, all they want is your vote.
    The Clinton's start these fights knowing very well they can twist them in the futre to their advantage – anything to win the White House. Common wake up

    January 25, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. Black Power

    Racists. The only reason Hillary did not divorce her husband was because she needed his help. Look what she is doing now with William. It is like they are on cloud nine but it is all for the White House. Once in there, if at all, Hillary will ahve her sweet revenge. I am sure she will also ne denying having sexual relations with that boy. Hillary you are not presidential – you are better off pushing for change outside the white house. Just do not cry, seeing you are a cry baby. Do not say I did not warn you.

    Go Obama – you are the next president

    January 25, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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