Bill Clinton Gets Bad Reviews for His Weak Campaign Speech

Bill Clinton New Hampshire Darren McCollester Getty
Darren McCollester/Getty

Former President Bill Clinton got panned worse than a Kate Hudson movie for his weak and rambling campaign speech on his wife’s behalf in New Hampshire Monday.

Breitbart News reported that Clinton, who called Republicans “kind of scary” in his remarks, rambled in a “slow, digressive, long-winded rhetorical style that has marked most of his recent speeches.”

The mainstream media agreed.

Wrote Time magazine:

Bill Clinton is an expert campaigner who came back from double defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire in the 1992 presidential primary. But he started his speech on Monday slowly, seeming almost weary in a chaotic primary year. His first words revealed a note of disconnect.

Said The Hill:

In the speech on Monday morning, the former president meandered but kept his remarks relatively brief — just under 30 minutes, barely a warm-up for a politician who likes to run long.

Added The Washington Post, which wondered if Bill is an “asset” or a “liability”:

With his star power and his gifts as a speaker, Bill Clinton has the potential to be one of her biggest assets. But with that has always come a host of worries, including that he might outshine her, or veer off script, as he often did in her 2008 campaign.

On Monday, he made his first solo outing on her behalf. And judging by how cautious and subdued he was, the 69-year-old former president appears determined to prove that he is capable of playing the supporting actor.

Concluded The New York Times:

Famed as the Big Dog of American politics, Mr. Clinton seemed to be on a tight leash during his appearances in Nashua and Exeter, delivering performances far different from the ones he gave in 2008, when some Democrats criticized him for overshadowing Mrs. Clinton with his attacks on then-Senator Barack Obama.

Mr. Clinton did not just keep his well-known temper in check: He even stopped shaking hands and signing autographs after brief forays on the rope line, a place at which he is known to spend up to an hour. It was one of several signs that, at least for this first trip, Mr. Clinton had settled into the part of supporting actor opposite his wife’s starring role.

Bill Clinton famously offended the entire black population of South Carolina during the 2008 primary by comparing Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson and saying in a radio interview that Obama “played the race card on me,” prompting Hillary to sideline her husband for the rest of the primary season, sending him out for less-publicized rural stump speeches.