wsj: Dubbed the "Billification" of Sen. Clinton's campaign by some insiders, Mr. Clinton has become something of a strategist-in-chief in recent weeks. He has been pushing for harder and sharper attacks on Sen. Obama. While she has jabbed her opponent over his "elitist" tone and controversial statements by his former pastor, Mr. Clinton delivers his own slams on the stump, calling Obama ads misleading.
The former president says he's in uncharted territory. "Being the spouse is more difficult than when I was the candidate," he says in a brief interview. "When you're running, you're out there driving every day. But when you're the spouse, you feel more protective. It's much harder."
Mr. Clinton has placed several of his own aides at headquarters, including his former lawyer and a bevy of strategists. Known as a bad loser, Mr. Clinton privately buttresses his wife's drive to push on, telling her, according to aides: "We're not quitters."
On his own daily message calls, advisers say, he implores: "We've got to take him on every time." At the Clintons' Washington, D.C., home recently, these people say, he reviewed possible TV spots and told ad makers to be more hard-hitting, faster and harsher.
Mr. Clinton also told the campaign to double the number of his daily appearances. "Look at this schedule -- you've got me down for four events," he said the week before Pennsylvania's primary, according to one operative. "Give me six, eight a day. Get me to the suburbs where I can make a difference."
The campaign, which added the events before her Tuesday victory, is continuing the same intense schedule as the race moves to North Carolina, which holds its primary May 6, and other remaining states. Mr. Clinton's appearances are designed to boost Sen. Clinton's appeal with working-class and so-called "Bubba" voters, older white men who are likely to sympathize with Democratic economic policies but supported Ronald Reagan and other Republicans. Mr. Clinton is also sending out fund-raising appeals, with strong results, two operatives say.
His role has come at a cost -- to morale among some campaign staff, relations inside the Democratic Party and with African-American leaders, and in the view of some, his own legacy. He has lost considerable credibility with many party leaders, who, as "superdelegates" to the party convention, will be crucial in determining who is the Democratic presidential nominee.
Despite his influence, Mr. Clinton isn't running the day-to-day campaign. Sen. Clinton recently added Geoff Garin, who hasn't been involved in previous Clinton campaigns, to take a lead role with her message and strategy. Her new campaign manager, Maggie Williams, has worked to ensure that Mr. Clinton's role is "managed" in an attempt to prevent costly remarks.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The Billification of the Clinton Campaign
with pennsylvania's white working class a vote for hillary was a vote for bill.
Labels: barack obama, bill clinton, geoff garin, hillary clinton