In an interview that aired on ABC’s World News Tonight Bill Clinton denied that he is angry at Barack Obama, but offered very little in terms of an endorsement and enthusiasm for the Democratic nominee.
Clinton denied that he is still angry, “I’m not, and I never was mad at Senator Obama. I think everybody’s got a right to run for president if he qualifies under the Constitution, and I would be the last person to ever begrudge anybody their ambition, and he was a superbly gifted candidate in this election, and had a great operation. They thought this thing through, and it’s a contact sport…The only thing I ever got mad about was people in your kind of work pretending that she started this stuff.”
Clinton refused to comment on whether or not he had anything to do with his wife’s loss, because he said it interferes with the issue of who should be elected in November. He said that he will talk about it when the election is over. Clinton blasted former friend Jim Clyburn and blamed him for hurting his standing with the African-American community. He also blamed the media, “I got bad press, because I told the truth that there was a different standard applied to the finest candidate I ever supported.”
Clinton was asked if Obama is ready to be president, and said, “You can argue that no one is ever ready to be president…He has shown a keen strategic sense in his ability to run an effective campaign. He clearly can inspire and motivate people and energize them, which is an important part of being president, and he is smart as a whip so there is nothing that he can’t learn.”
Two things are made clear in this interview. Bill Clinton still has some issues with Barack Obama, and he blames the media for his wife’s loss in the Democratic primary. The reality is that Clinton was banished to the rural white campaign stops because he could not stop putting his foot in his mouth. I think bad campaign strategy cost Hillary Clinton the Democratic nomination, but her husband certainly didn’t help. It is obvious that Bill views his wife’s defeat as personal rejection of his presidency. President Clinton could be a valuable asset for Obama this fall, but judging from this frosty interview, I wouldn’t expect too much support for Obama from him this fall.