And it's silly for Obama to be bragging about his former Clinton advisors. He's a Democrat. Most Democrats with experience probably worked for Bill Clinton at some point. They can't all work on Hillary's campaign so some are working on his campaign.
In Iowa on Friday, Obama suggested he had the support of more Clinton administration figures than the former first lady. Lists provided by both campaigns quickly showed hers is almost twice as large.Ooh, Obama's wrapped up the assistant secretary of state's support. Hillary has to be steaming about that loss. And she also has to be annoyed that Barack Obama can get away with a blooper like bragging that he has more Clinton administration figures on his staff when she has twice as many. If Hillary had made such a claim and had so easily been proven wrong it would have been used as evidence of her mendacity. For Obama it just gets buried in the story.
"Why is the national security adviser of Bill Clinton, the secretary of the Navy of Bill Clinton, the assistant secretary of state for Bill Clinton, why are all these people endorsing me?" Obama said. "They apparently believe that my vision of foreign policy is better suited for the 21st century."
Obama's real message is - don't worry about my lack of experience because I have experienced people advising me.
Hillary's real problem - besides that people just don't like her - is that people are getting pretty tired of the whole Clinton soap opera. We just don't want to endure four more years of stories about the Big He or wondering which Hillary is the real Hillary. As Michael Goodwin writes,
Something was bugging me, but I couldn't figure out what it was. Then it hit me. While I was reading about the campaign, the realization came like a thunderbolt: I'm tired of Bill Clinton.But we don't vote for advisors, remember. Or spouses.
Tired of his half-truths and full lies about where he stood on Iraq. Tired of his bull, as when he says he'd campaign for Hillary "if we weren't married" and calls her a "world-class genius." Tired of his whining, as when he says the media has been too tough on her and too soft on Barack Obama.
All of this is as real as the lovey-dovey, hug-and-smile photo ops of them in Iowa. It's theater, staged for maximum political impact. We're being played again on the two-for-the-price-of-one angle.
But, as always, the game for him is about him. A vote for her is a vote for him. Vanity is a big part of it, with her victory the succession legacy he was denied when Al Gore lost.
All true, but I fear there is more to it now. He wants to be The Man, again. He wants it so much that it's not clear which President Clinton would be the President. The way he hogs the spotlight, the way he's trotted out to rescue her when she's in trouble and the way he sets the talking points mark him as the lead dog in the Clinton pack. Would he also make the decisions in the White House? All of them? Some of them?