Teddy Tells Bill to Chill

21 01 2008

TOP DEMOCRATS TO CLINTON: “CHILL, BILL”

Leading Democrats have called on Bill Clinton to tone down his attacks on Barack Obama, while Obama himself has called the former president’s attacks “troubling and “not factually accurate,” according to news reports.
In an ABC interview on “Good Morning America,” Obama said he’s ready to confront Clinton, saying his stumping for Hillary’s presidential campaign has been “troubling,” ABCNews.com reported yesterday.
Obama told ABC News’ Robin Roberts today, “You know the former president, who I think all of us have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling. He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts – whether it’s about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas. This has become a habit, and one of the things that we’re gonna have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he’s making statements that are not factually accurate.”

Clinton had referred to Obama’s claim that he opposed the Iraq war from the start as a “fairy tale,” noting Obama has voted to fund the war as a senator. Clinton also has claimed Nevada union officials were pressuring their members to vote for Obama.

Clinton’s “fairy tale” remark drew fire from black political leaders who suggested it was a racially charged dismissal of Obama’s candidacy, a claim Obama himself later disputed. He also refered to an Obama presidency as “a roll of the dice.”

Clinton and Kennedy

(Clinton and Senator Kennedy during happier days. Image: Boston Globe.)

Meanwhile, Newsweek, citing anonymous sources, reported yesterday on its Web site that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) have told Clinton “heatedly” in phone conversations that he needs to tone down his attacks on Obama. Newsweek reported that Clinton, Kennedy and Emanuel had all declined to comment.

Newsweek noted that while Bill Clinton is seen as a huge fund-raising draw and brings Democratic starpower to the campaign, he’s been losing his temper with the media and raising concerns that his long-term image as a statesman may be harmed.

“This is excruciating,” the magazine quoted a “member of the Clintons’ circle” as saying. “But the stakes couldn’t be higher. It’s worth it to tarnish himself a bit now to win the presidency.”

 

(Editor’s note: This tension creates an interesting dynamic, as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and other members of the Kennedy family have endorsed Hillary Clinton. As of yet, Senator Edward Kennedy is declining to endorse any candidate in the race.

But if I were to wager a guess, I might think that Senator Kennedy is only enchoing the feelings of many Democrats when he expresses disdain for the tone of recent attacks on Obama. Stories like this breaking on MLK day only serve to remind us that the media simply can’t resist any opportunity to stir the pot, even on a national holiday to honor the memory of a fallen civil rights leader.)

Stort from The Boston Herald. Copyright 2008 Herald Media.

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6 responses

21 01 2008
Alan

What Bill needs is some stress relief…maybe the campaign should send him to Vegas for a week and let him uh, “unwind.” …no wait! they already tried that…lo and behold, hilary won the Nevada Caucus!

21 01 2008
Howard Martin

I do think that Bill needs to keep his composure at all times. He is the former President of the United States, and his behaviour on the campaign trail has not been very presidential lately.

I don’t think any former president should get into the usual campaign barfights, even if his wife is in the thick of the fray. There is a certain dignity with that high office which is tarnished when a former president gets involved with party brawls.

21 01 2008
Steppenwolf

Can’t the media and these campaigns stop the race-baiting for one day to remember Dr. king?

21 01 2008
Candle Man

Good for Teddy!

Somebody had to say it…

21 01 2008
Genie

This is something new in american history. We’ve never had a former president campaigning for his wife before, so in his defense, he probably doesn’t know how to react.

what role is he supposed to play in this race? The husband who comes to his wife’s defense when she is attacked? Her political running mate? Or the former president who stays above the fray and the mudslingin’?

23 01 2008
Christina

I guess Bill took Teddy’s advice…and a chill pill.

He looked pretty laid-back when he fell asleep at the Dr. King ceremony yesterday!!!

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