WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2016 — What impact will Bill Clinton have on Hillary Clinton’s quest for the White House?
Bill Clinton is still hugely popular within liberal circles, despite having lied under oath about an extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky, a then-22-year-old White House intern. Even some Republicans like Bill, and a big reason for that is that he is usually well spoken, amiable and charismatic.
If Hillary was banking on Bill’s charm and charisma to boost her campaign, she might want to go back to the drawing board. Bill made his first appearance at a campaign stop on Monday, and it didn’t go well.
You would think that Bill Clinton would have practiced his response to the inevitable questions about his long-running, serial cheating on Hillary to the point that he could knock it out of the park, but when the question finally came, his response was flat. He seemed caught entirely off guard.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 4, 2016
Asked whether his past was “fair game” to talk about in the race, Clinton responded, “The Republicans have to decide who they want to nominate. I think there’s always attempts to take the election away from people, so I’m just going to give it to them.”
Was that even an answer? The five-second pause didn’t project confidence.
Bill regaled the crowd with an unimpressive 28-minute speech. The campaign put four females behind him in an obvious attempt to woo women voters, a plan that backfired when the women made faces during the speech that made it clear they did not want to be there.
The Daily Mail ran the pictures, and they were pretty stunning. The women were interviewed after the speech and basically admitted they weren’t impressed.
From The Daily Mail: “Two of the glum-looking females, a mother-daughter pair, spoke to Daily Mail Online after Clinton wrapped up his remarks. They said they were shocked to know how apathetic they looked on television.
“‘We weren’t aware. I wasn’t aware!’ said Deanne Martin, a surgical nurse stood on stage behind her 14-year-old daughter Mary.
“‘I’ve never been to one of these before,’ she offered as she gave permission for her child to be interviewed.
Mary was even more shocked, mouthing an “Oh, no!” at the news of her apparent detachment.
The young girl said someone from the Clinton campaign recruited her and her mom to stand behind Bill.
“‘We were nervous,’ she explained, and then abruptly shifted into the role of enthusiastic Hillary supporter.
“‘I was ecstatic!’ the girl insisted, quickly painting on a go-getter’s grin, even though pictures told a different story.
“‘I want to be the first female president—well, now the second,” she said.
DailyMail.com delicately asked Deanne if she has told her daughter about Bill’s reputation with women during his White House years.
Young Mary jumped in and cut her mom off with a ‘so what’ shrug.
“Oh, I’m aware,” she said. ‘Yeah. He’s a womanizer.”
“‘I think that that’s his social life,” the eighth-grader said of the famous political Lothario. “And his work should be separate from that.”
Asked if she agreed, Deanne rolled her eyes left, then right, and sighed.
“Um – I guess,” she said at last.
There you have it.
“Um, I guess” pretty much sums up the day for the Clinton camp, and in many ways encapsulates Hillary’s campaign so far.
Bill’s mere presence will resonate with many Democratic voters, but Hillary is clearly facing a situation where she must consider limiting his exposure. It’s important to court the female vote, but it’s harder to do when standing by a cheating husband who broke his marriage vows many times, preyed on an intern and is accused of acts of sexual assault. Hillary stood by that man and against his female accusers, and that will complicate her life when she tries to lead the counteroffensive to the “war on women.”