USA Today: Bill Clinton paints Obama as 'establishment candidate'
Bill Clinton, who carried Nevada in two general elections, urged voters Tuesday to buck labor endorsements for Sen. Barack Obama and support his wife in Saturday's hotly contested presidential caucuses as the only Democratic candidate with the experience necessary to change the country. The former president trumpeted New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's accomplishments while painting Obama as the "establishment" candidate who would bring only the "feeling of change.""More of the same" from Bill Clinton.
"One candidate says you should vote for me because I've not been involved at all in the struggles of the past and therefore we need to turn over a new leaf and (try) something absolutely new. And if you want the feeling of change, then that is the person you should support," Clinton said in a 75-minute speech to about 300 people in a YMCA gymnasium. "The other candidate says vote for me because I spent a lifetime making change, raising hopes and fulfilling dreams for other people," he said about the former first lady.
In a speech to nearly 2,000 people in neighboring Reno on Monday, Obama portrayed himself as the candidate for change, his campaign's theme from the onset.
Perhaps only Bill Clinton could attempt to distort his opponent's message, (Obama says vote for me because "I haven't been involved") steal his opponent's message (Hillary = "change and hope"), belittle that message (Obama = "only the feeling of change"), and attempt to tag that opponent with your own negatives (Obama = "the establishment candidate") at the same time.
I don't think it works. In fact, it's pretty damn hilarious.
Read the full article for the less hilarious moment where Clinton inserts himself into labor union politics and tries to actively counter the Culinary Workers endorsement of Barack Obama by pitting the union against itself. This from the guy who just a few days ago was actively supporting suppressing their vote!
Could Bill Clinton's rhetoric on the campaign trail hurt Hillary? You could make an argument that it already has.
Personally, I think Senator Clinton is a better campaigner than this...better on substance and a better advocate for herself and her candidacy. Why Bill is still out there...and implicitly making the "two for the price of one" argument...is beyond me.
Senator Clinton looks weak when Bill Clinton attacks Barack Obama like this.