By January 28, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Will Bill Clinton’s Impeachment Cast a Shadow over Hillary Clinton’s Campaign?

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband former POTUS Bill Clinton

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband former POTUS Bill Clinton

During Hillary Clinton’s 2008 run for the Democrat nomination for the presidency, the persona of husband Bill Clinton loomed large.  And some believe that the former president overshadowed his wife. But this is clearly not the case this time around—Mrs. Clinton has come into her own and projects the unique strength and qualifications required to occupy in the Oval Office: she has been a two-term First Lady, a U.S. senator, and Secretary of State under the Obama Administration.

Though Bill Clinton is actively involved in Mrs. Clinton’s current campaign, political observers say that he is calmer and staying more in the background than in 2008.  Annie Karni, in an article published in Politico on November 5, 2015, reported that Bill Clinton was instrumental in crafting the strategy Mrs. Clinton used in her testimony before the House of Representatives’ Benghazi Committee, and otherwise prepping her for the 11-hour ordeal.  Mrs. Clinton got through the hearings with flying colors, impressing the nation with her grasp of facts, stamina and ability to stay calm, focused and precise under pressure.

The Clintons are a strong team; one is always there for the other to rely on in a crisis.  This has been the case throughout their long and sometimes turbulent political careers.  Mr. Clinton was there to support his wife through the Benghazi hearing, and he was there to offer her counsel as the email scandal surfaced.  It is reported that a source close to the Clintons described Mr. Clinton as being “obsessed with the email thing”, intent on understanding all he could learn about how the system of classifying documents works.

The former president helped prepare his wife for the first democratic debate by offering her sage advice on how she could strengthen her answers and by serving as a coach and cheerleader. It is reported that Mrs. Clinton “was thrilled” her husband accompanied her to the Las Vegas debate.  Hillary Clinton associates say that Mrs. Clinton performs best when her husband is around serving as her counselor.

Bill Clinton is certainly one of the most gifted politicians of our times.  He is able to take very complicated political policy issues and break them down into bit size pieces so that they are easily consumed by the average person.  The former president has a legacy replete with successes: During his presidency he reshaped the democrat party by cooping the traditional Republican position on such matters as law and order, individualism and welfare reform.  Yet he was able to promote traditional democratic commitments to the disadvantaged, minorities and women.  His economic policies eliminated the deficit and ushered in the strongest economy in recent history.

But there is a permanent scar on the face of the Bill Clinton legacy: the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal that led to his impeachment.  During the 2008 primary season this issue never came up in any serious way.  But this time it is different: Donald Trump is in the mix, and Mr. Trump has an uncanny way of zeroing in on a candidate’s soft spot.  And even though neither party has decided on its candidate for the general election, Mr. Trump has already raised the Lewinsky issue.  U.S. News reported that in an interview on CNN Donald Trump stated: “I don’t really care about Monica Lewinsky other than I think that Hillary was an enabler and a lot of things happened that was obviously very seedy.  I mean he was impeached, for heaven’s sake.  He was impeached over this stuff.”

Hillary Clinton supporters are confident that Trump style attacks on Bill Clinton will be ineffective and may even backfire. They point out that Mrs. Clinton was strong and loyal and had some of her highest approval ratings in wake of the Lewinsky scandal. Only time will decide if their assessment is valid.

 

 

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