[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/05/art.clinton0305.ap.jpg caption="The former president has been a quieter presence on the trail, says Panetta."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Bill Clinton’s former White House chief of staff thinks his old boss has been doing a pretty good job staying out of trouble.
Leon Panetta told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday that Clinton “has been very controlled” on the campaign trail in recent weeks.
“He’s handled himself pretty well over the last few weeks,” said Panetta, who served as chief of staff in the White House from 1994-1997.
“He’s been obviously involved,” Panetta said, asked how visible the former president should be in his wife’s presidential bid. “He’s working very hard top try to help his wife out, as he should.”
“But I think in particular, he’s been much better at talking about the issues that count, and I hope they continue to use him in that way, because I think he can be very effective.”
Panetta said that while Clinton cares a great deal about what happens in the presidential race, “he himself knows that when he speaks, he’s going to have to speak carefully.”
- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby