At a press conference in Moline, IL Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama denied that there is any tension between himself and the Clintons, and that he gave President Bill Clinton a topic for his Wednesday night convention speech.
Here is what Obama had to say about reports of lingering tensions between the two camps according to the Swampland blog, “She could not have been more clear today, she could not have been more clear in the course of the last several months. President Clinton couldn’t have been more clear… The fact is we had a very hard fought primary. There’re going to be some Clinton supporters that we’re going to have to work hard to convince to come aboard… The Clintons love this country and they love the Democratic Party.”
On the topic of Bill Clinton’s speech, Obama repeated what he told President Clinton on Thursday, “Mr. President you can say whatever you like. Bill Clinton is a unique figure in our politics… It wouldn’t make sense to me to try and edit his remarks.” I have a really hard time believing that Bill Clinton, a man who his own wife’s campaign could not reign in, would allow himself to be told what to say by Barack Obama.
The proof will come on Wednesday night, but it is my guess that President Clinton will be himself, and do what he always does, which is talk about whatever in the hell wants. Since he does feel that some of Obama’s attacks went after his legacy, I suspect that he will use his speech to right any perceived wrongs. Some Republicans have tried to lay the blame for 9/11 at his feet, so I would not be shocked at all if he used part of his speech to defend his national security legacy.
It would be absolutely insane for the Obama people to tell a president whose policy legacy is defined by the economy to avoid this subject at the convention. In fact, if I am Barack Obama, I want Bill Clinton talking about the economy, not only in Denver, but all over the country this fall. Who would be better than Bill Clinton to remind America just how badly the Republicans screwed up what he left behind. I think that the tensions that exist are between supporters, not the Clintons or Obama.