August 16th, 2010
08:22 AM ET
12 years ago

Bill Clinton stumping for Kendrick Meek

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" Former President Bill Clinton hits the campaign trail Monday for Rep. Kendrick Meek who is running for Florida's Democratic Senate nomination."]

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton hits the campaign trail Monday with three rallies for Rep. Kendrick Meek as the latter makes a bid for Florida's Democratic Senate nomination.

Last month, CNN learned that President Barack Obama's aides were putting together an aggressive schedule to deploy Clinton at campaign and fundraising events in key states around the country in the weeks ahead.

According to Democratic officials familiar with the plans, the White House specifically wants to use Clinton in key swing states where Obama is not particularly popular, such as Arkansas and Kentucky.

Meek, a four-term lawmaker who represents Florida's 17th congressional district in the southeast part of the state, faces off August 24 against billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary.

The winner will battle former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio, the likely Republican nominee, and Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is now running for the Senate as an independent candidate afterdropping out of a battle with Rubio for the GOP nomination.

Most recent polls indicate Crist has a narrow lead over Rubio, with either Meek or Green a distant third.

Clinton's move should not be seen as a surprise. The former president has already headlined several fundraising events and has penned fundraising e-mails for Meek.

The pair's relationship stretches back nearly two decades, when Clinton was the Arkansas governor and Meek was a state trooper in the Florida Highway Patrol who was assigned to Buddy MacKay, Florida's lieutenant governor at the time.

Meek also backed Sen. Hillary Clinton's bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Earlier this year, Clinton went back to his home state of Arkansas to help Sen. Blanche Lincoln win a bruising primary runoff election against the state's lieutenant governor. Lincoln now faces a very tough re-election battle in November against Republican Rep. John Boozman.

Clinton will also be used in Kentucky, where Democrats would love to pick up an open seat now held by the retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee, faces off in the general election against Republican nominee Rand Paul, a favorite of many in the Tea Party movement.

Clinton also hit the campaign trail in June, when he teamed up with Mark Critz, the Democratic candidate in the special election to fill the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha's Pennsylvania seat. Critz ended up defeating Republican candidate Tim Burns.

- CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry contributed to this report.

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Kendrick Meek
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. diridi

    In a three word sentence Pres. Clinton....."We love you".
    Congratulations to our dearest Chelsea....we love her....and your family....
    You and Pres. Obama are the "BEST PRESIDENTS".

    August 16, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. carlos

    way to go......let us defeat those repulsive repugnants......

    August 16, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Clinton isn't the kind of endorsement I would want nor accept, if I were running for office.

    August 16, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. Texan for common sense

    Bill might want to quit on Florida. It's one of the states I'd like to see expelled from the Union for stupidity. When Florida leaves, we should also toss out South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas, Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. The average IQ of the rest of the nation would go up ten points if those bastions of social and political ignorance would get flushed.

    August 16, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  5. Justin L

    It is great how a former famous president like Bill Clinton is really using his former presidential power in the political arena and he getting a very good reception especially in Arkansas for Sen.Blanche Lincoln so I think Rep.Kendrik Meeks is probably in good hands!

    August 16, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. Karl in Charleston,SC

    Will Bill Clinton campaign for Alvin Greene in SC?

    August 16, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Carrotroot

    I would have preferred Clinton stump for Crist, because it's pretty obvious he's going to be our next Senator from Florida.

    August 16, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. Haren

    America should think twice before adopting republican idea of privatizing social security.
    I would gamble my money in stock market if we have vital manufacturing industry, instead of financial sector where money are made and manipulated in derivatives.

    August 16, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. Buster

    If you totally dislike obama, why would you vote for someone he supports even by sending clinton. The one obama supports will be someone who will be in lock step with his tax and spend,spend and spend policies.

    August 16, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Keith in Austin

    If Clinton will be deployed to campaign in States where Barry Obozo is unpopular, he'll be working in all 50 of them!

    August 16, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. jim

    I thought Bill Clinton was a former president,he must now be on Obama's payroll.Either that are he's doing legwork for Hillary's run in 2012.

    August 16, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Get A Grip

    Bet old Bill will be campaigning for Hillary in the very near future against Obama for the 2012 elections.

    August 16, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. gt

    clinton lost his clout in the south when he moved to new your entergy... obama is as polular as charlie range or maxine walter in dixie...

    August 16, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Pat F

    What a howl – Bill Clinton is a more effective campaigner than The Obamessiah, who is campaign poison!

    Hey, Bill, what about Obama being "the biggest fairy tale ever" as you said when he was running against Hillary? Which Bill should be believe? I'll tell you which – NEITHER!

    Slick Willie and the Obamessiah – what a pair!!!

    August 16, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |