To the delight of left-wing activists, President Obama has refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. Bill Clinton hated signing that bill, but thought he had to. Typically, he boasted in election ads on Christian radio that he had signed this measure. Christian voters weren’t the first ones to find Bill Clinton’s marriage promises empty.
Now, the pundits are wondering if Bill Clinton will sink or save Barack Obama. They seem genuinely perplexed. New York Times blogger Matt Bai thinks Clinton’s campaign advice to the Obama re-elect team may have proved harmful. Clinton urged them to portray his opponent not as an unprincipled flip-flopper, but as a right-wing zealot. People don’t like zealots, he argued.
But when the opponent who appeared next to the president on stage looked nothing like a zealot, Clinton’s campaign strategy may have blown up in his friends’ faces. He wants two terms of high octane liberalism in the White House, doesn't he? That would surely help Hillary should she try one last time for the presidency in 2016. Wouldn't it?
Bill Clinton is our friend, right, they may be asking themselves. He wants the president re-elected to eclipse his own presidency.
Barack Obama does not quite bestride the narrow world like a colossus these days. But he may realize the wisdom of keeping his friends close and his enemies even closer. And he may have occasion to ask how valuable Bill Clinton’s help really was: Et tu, Bubba?