Does Bill Really Want Hillary to be President?
Recent gaffes by the former president could sink her chances at becoming president
Hillary Clinton’s husband can’t seem to keep his mouth shut, especially when his wife’s candidacy is on the line, but he’s not exactly singing her praises — more like creating public relation nightmares.
It all began back in 2008 when Hillary first ran for the presidency and lost to then-Sen. Barack Obama. Bill Clinton was a liability for her on the campaign trail, specifically in South Carolina. Bill was accused of making racially tinged comments about Obama during the South Carolina primary contest. The comments blew up into a larger issue and did real damage to her presidential viability.
Now in 2016, in the throes of an intense Democratic primary with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bill continues to stir the pot. On Thursday, Bill spoke at a campaign event for his wife in a predominately African-American neighborhood in Philadelphia where he lashed out at “Black Lives Matter” protesters and activists. “You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter,” Bill shouted. “You are defending the people who cause young people to go out and take guns.”
Not only did he tangle with the controversial group, but he doubled down. He defended his support for his crime bill and welfare reform — which have come under fire by the group for causing over-incarceration of the black community. Prior to Thursday, the former president had admitted that the crime bill he signed did in fact have problems. But he nevertheless chose to defend it.
Recent polling shows that Hillary is losing ground with white voters to Sanders in crucial states. But Clinton, who has done well among minority voters, needs African-Americans to come out and vote in the New York primary if she wants to beat Sanders on her home turf. Currently, the race in New York is within 10 points as the Sanders campaign is picking up momentum.
Clinton learned the peril of losing black voters the hard way in 2008, when African-Americans turned out wildly for Obama. At first, the black population seemed to be supporting Clinton, a well-known candidate, but switched to Obama after his strong performance in Iowa, realizing he could be the first African-American president. This time it won’t be because they’re excited by Sanders, but because they may be turned off by her husband’s clash with the Black Lives Matter protesters.
She has staked much of her campaign on winning over minority voters and she has been successful in that endeavor, but these comments from her husband are sure to cause a headache for her campaign.
What’s more, Bill called Obama’s policies "awful" at a campaign stop for Hillary in Washington state. "If you believe we’ve finally come to the point we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that where we were practicing trickle-down economics, then you should vote for her," he said. The Clinton campaign then had to quickly cover up and backtrack the comments seeing as Hillary has hitched her wagon to the legacy of Obama.
Then, at the end of March, Bill said he would use his vote as a superdelegate at the convention to support Sanders if he is the candidate to get the nomination. There are some superdelegates in New York who have said they would not change their vote from Hillary even if she loses the primary in her home state, but her own husband would.
One could deduce that perhaps Bill, either consciously or unconsciously, doesn’t want his wife to become president, given the endless gaffes he has made and continues to make on the campaign trail. While he once was revered by pundits and strategists as Hillary’s secret weapon, he now seems to be her not-so-secret liability.