When Hillary Clinton formally announces her presidential bid–likely in the next month–some of her supporters would prefer that Bill Clinton not be by her side because his “unnecessary baggage” may overshadow her once again.
According to a Politico report, “another source of disagreement among Clinton supporters is what role Bill Clinton should play on announcement day.”
“Longtime Clinton supporters” reportedly “said Bill Clinton’s presence would confuse Hillary’s message.” One operative told the outlet, “everyone knows who her family is, she doesn’t have to introduce them to the public… It should just be her. It should be her moment and Bill could overshadow her announcement and remind people of unnecessary baggage.”
Former President Barack Obama adviser Tommy Vietor, though, told the outlet that Clinton should be at the announcement because, “on the biggest day of your campaign, you have your family there and they’re there to support you like any spouse would.
With Hillary Clinton embroiled in scandals involving her use of a personal email account while Secretary of State and foreign donations–including millions from repressive Middle Eastern regimes–to her family’s Clinton foundation, Hillary Clinton’s aides are well aware that Bill Clinton’s presence may remind voters of all of the “baggage” that voters find troubling about the couple.
Ken Silverstein recently wrote in the Observer that Bill Clinton’s ties to convicted pedophile Jeffery Epstein may potentially “derail” Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton’s aides were worried that rumors of Bill Clinton’s numerous alleged hook-ups and affairs would undermine her campaign and remind voters of Monica Lewinsky, the blue dress, and impeachment. According to the New York Post, a former Clinton aide said that Bill Clinton’s “seedy social circle” was “radioactive.”
Bill Clinton also did more harm than good to his wife’s campaign in 2008 by referring to Obama’s campaign as a big “fairy tale” and trying to diminish Obama’s win in the South Carolina primary by comparing him to Jesse Jackson. Black voters viewed Clinton’s comments as an “affront” and, as one activist and The Grio contributor recently wrote, Hillary Clinton’s tenure at Obama’s State Department “does not mean black voters will completely forget the bitter, racially tinged presidential campaign politics of seven years ago.”
After Obama was elected president, Hillary Clinton reportedly even warned Obama when he was considering her to be his Secretary of State that she was concerned her husband would be a “problem” for the administration.
“You know my husband,” she reportedly told Obama. “You know I can’t control him, and at some point he’ll be a problem.”
After formally announcing her presidential bid sometime next month, Clinton will reportedly “embark on a short tour that will almost certainly include Iowa — and perhaps other states — to interact with voters in a series of events” in order to make her seem less “aloof” and more of a down-to-earth candidate. She will also need to justify her reason for wanting to be president. Hillary Clinton’s aides seem to realize that Bill Clinton’s presence, though, threatens to again, at minimum, derail her campaign’s carefully crafted optics and message.