Consider some of the antics we’ve seen from the former President, just within the past ninety days. After Hillary’s abysmal performance at the Philadelphia debate, Bill claimed that NBC-TV’s Tim Russert (the debate moderator) had been unfair to his wife, and that the other candidates had “ganged up” on her merely because she is a woman. Shortly thereafter, Bill claimed that Hillary had arranged to send he and former President Bush around the globe, just as soon as she becomes President herself, so as to repair America’s image that has been so severely tarnished by Bush 43 - - only to have “Poppy Bush” deny 24 hours later that such plans existed.
And then there were Bill’s numerous accusations of an “Obama bias” in the media. And there was Bill’s speech in Iowa where, in the first ten minutes of his address, he used the word “I” 94 times, while using the word “Hillary” only times.
And then as we all rolled-in to 2008, there was Bill’s speech in New Hampshire where, in a moment of humility, he acknowledged that , yes, even HE has limitations - - and he can’t make Hillary “younger, taller” or “male” (good thing he cleared the air on that point). And then of course there was the former President interrupted while talking in front of a group, with Hillary on the other end of his mobile telephone and Bill replying “..and I love you too.”
Yes, it’s Bill and Hillary running for President again, so reminiscent of 1992 - - and it is, without a doubt, quite a “show.” But it’s unnerving to realize that, experienced performers that they are, they still don’t seem certain as to who should rightfully take center stage this time around.
Knowing that marriage is a challenge for most, I’ve always been uncomfortable analyzing other couples, including the Clintons. But the Clintons invite scrutiny, if only in one’s mind, simply because the boundaries between their private lives and their public lives seem to always be shifting, and the definition of their relationship appears to change depending on the political goals that are in their path.
At times the Clintons, while technically married, nonetheless portray themselves as very independent from one another, living apart, rarely seen together, each with their own careers and professional objectives. This seems to have been the image that the Clintons portrayed for most of the first six years after Bill left the presidency, and during Hillary’s first term as a Senator.
At other times the Clintons are the quintessential, middle-aged, empty-nester couple who, after many years together, are still madly in-love and can’t keep their hands off each other. This seems to have been the image that they have attempted to portray on the campaign trail since April of last year, Bill’s moments of self-absorption not withstanding.
But if they can’t determine what is for public consumption and what should remain private; if they cannot determine who is “in charge” right now; if they are still uncertain as to who they are, individually or together - - how are American voters to feel comfortable voting for Hillary?
Bill has made it a point to remind us that, when Hillary becomes President, he’ll be available to help her in any way he can. But it seems more plausible to think that Bill would be unavoidable throughout a Hillary administration, whether she wants it that way or not.
Surely she’s got to know this herself.
Do American voters know this as well?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.