Monday, September 03, 2012

Barack Obama and Bill Clinton become friends

Ryan Lizza has a must read in The New Yorker for political junkies.

Bill Clinton has the sharpest political mind of his generation, and probably the sharpest political mind of anyone who was president.  Republicans let ideology prevent them from seeing the obviousness of this statement.  The good news for Obama is that Bill is also a political addict and can't stand to be on the sidelines for national election. 

How Barack Obama and Bill Clinton became friends just in time for the campaign,
The reconciliation began in earnest late last summer. Patrick Gaspard, the former White House political director, who has moved to the Democratic National Committee, approached Douglas Band, Clinton's closest political adviser and longtime gatekeeper, with some suggestions about how the former President might help with Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. Band, who, by reputation, has an acute sense for moments of political advantage, tried to explain that you don't just call up Bill Clinton and tell him to raise money and campaign for you. Band recommended that the two Presidents begin by playing golf.

The next day, Obama phone Clinton and invited him out for a round. Several Clinton associates say that this was the moment they realized that Obama truly wanted to win in 2012. Why else would he spend hours on a golf course being lectured by Clinton?

The Presidential round was played at Andrews Air Force Base on September 24, 2011, and since then Clinton has become a visible and vigorous champion of Obama's reelection. ... Now that Obama has turned the campaign into something of a referendum on Clinton's sterling record on the economy, Clinton can hardly complain. That may be part of Obama's strategy, too. Flattered by the attention, Clinton now has an incentive to work hard for Obama, who seems to have learned how to tame the former president.

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