June 19th, 2008
02:51 PM ET
12 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. Brandon Hillary Democrat for Mc Cain

    When somewhere freezes over.....

    June 19, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Bill loves John

    Keep waiting. Pres. Clinton secretly supports John McCain for president.

    June 19, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Enlightened Voter

    Bill and Hillary need to realize that they are not entitled to anything in life and that what goes around, comes around (karma). They needed to be humbled and they were, hopefully. If they accept this life lesson and learn from it then I would say it would happen pretty soon, if they haven't then they don't need to campaign for Obama, he doesn't need their negativity.

    June 19, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Melinda Charlotte, NC

    I hope he never does. I admire and respect both Hillary and Bill Clinton; unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Senator Obama.

    June 19, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |

    Why should he?
    There are a great deal of us who supported Senator Clinton who will NEVER support Obama...
    Why should he? He was disrespected by Obama and his suporters... Why should he?

    June 19, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    As soon as he quits playing Hide & Go Seek; with the Cigars! Come on Bill time to leave the women alone and campaign for Obama. We need you Bubba!

    June 19, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Zack

    Never is he's smart...and he is.

    I'm voting for McCain now so I can vote for Hillary in 4 years.

    June 19, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. BruceTX

    Obama has already made it clear that he wants Bill Clinton on the campaign trail. Consequently since Bill loves the spotlight, I am sure we'll see him out there in due time, possibly alongside Hillary if not on his own.

    June 19, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. sam


    June 19, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. wow

    why Bill Clinton needs to compromise his good name with this walkie-talkie?

    June 19, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Anita from Arizona

    He may make that endorsement, he may not. It doesn't really matter, the Obama train is off and running.

    June 19, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Bryce

    "he has a knack of doing it in a spectacular war" are you sure you didn't mean "spectacular way?"

    June 19, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Liar, Liar pants on fire

    I guess she isn't ready "day one"...oh, that's right. On her terms. It's always, her terms.

    Hillary is sulking.

    June 19, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Andrew

    The clintons should support McCain like the rest of their followers.

    June 19, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Paques

    Why do you want him to do that? the Clintons are so self absorved ...Bill told us 4 weeks ago that it was maybe the last time he will campaign...maybe untill Chelsea try to get elected who knows?wait and see....

    June 19, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Shelly in IL

    NEVER! He's angry.

    June 19, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. indy dem

    Give Bill some time. I've read in numerous reports how poorly he thinks he was treated by the press and by the Obama campaign. Maybe his legacy just can't take any more pride swallowing. Seems to me like he brought it all on himself anyway. He'll come around. He's a democrat

    June 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. NH, Texas

    The Clintons are bitter right now and I don't foresee them doing anything for Obama. If anything, Bill Clinton might 'misspeak' and endorse his wife while on the campaign trail for Obama.

    June 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. DAVID


    June 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. NickNas

    I am 100% an Obama supporter who was once a 100% Bill Clinton Supporter through THICK and Thin.

    After the way Bill Acted toward Obama and toward the Black community when HIS wife was in competition with him (that is when most " Liberal whites turn on you) I would have more respect for him as a man NOT to Insult us further by pretending to support him in order to help himself.

    June 19, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. jen

    Gee Wolf, you still can not get your girl Hillery out of your mind. I know you did your best to help her get the nomination however it is time to "let go".

    June 19, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Jim

    As much respect and admiration as I have for Clinton, I get really nervous when I hear their name's now. After such a heated campaign it feels like things have really cooled off and people are really focusing on the issues, again I have the utmost respect for the Clintons, and I wish they could have been president for another 2 terms instead of Bush, but after such a heated campaign and remembering how strongly he criticized Obama, I'm worried those emotions will stir up in the strong HIllary supporters that may still be sore about the loss during the primaries.

    June 19, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Nia - AZ by way of MN

    Hillary didn't drop out, she suspended and is holding onto her delegates...for one reason or another. Which to me says alot oabout her chracter. I doubt The Hill-Billys ever had any intent in supporting Obama the way they claimed they would weeks before the nominee diecision. Given that the campagin is no longer about them and having thier rear ends kissed by Obama and he [Obama] is holding his own against McCain despite what her staunch supports think

    June 19, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Demhypocrisy

    Why should he? He owes nothing to Obama

    June 19, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. Not sleeping at the switch

    NO Clinton..Not Hillary , Bill OR Chelsea will do ANYTHING unless there is somthing in it for the Clintons. PERIOD!

    June 19, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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