Of course, the former first lady has consistently denied presidential aspirations. Both she and the former president have consistently pledged to do everything possible to help elect Kerry in November. But one has to wonder just how much heart they are really putting into a fight that, if successful, would likely frustrate any realistic shot at another Clinton White House.
And while Hillary got the rock star-like reception at the Democratic convention last week, it was clearly former President Bill Clinton who remains the real headline act. Looking back, it's now clear the campaign waged by Al Gore in 2000 probably blew its best chances for winning big by not asking then-President Clinton to work his magic and breathe new life into that effort by hitting the campaign trail on Gore's behalf. And for those who insist on denying reality -- including Gore, at least back then -- let's point out that Bill Clinton still enjoyed very high approval ratings, his impeachment experience notwithstanding. Judging from his near-perfect convention speech last week -- compared to Hillary's stilted, barking performance -- there's little doubt that Democrats need "Hollywood Bill" in 2004 if they are to pull off the win they believe is within their grasp.
Based on our past surveys, it's also clear the Democrats will need Sen. Clinton's help if Kerry is to widen what is now the modest margin by which women support Kerry over Bush. However, the greatest contribution Hillary Clinton could have made to Kerry would have been to serve as his vice-presidential running mate. But Kerry never offered.
It's hard to believe the rather motley-looking, rank-and-file delegates at the Democratic convention were as supportive of Sen. Kerry's move-to-the-middle acceptance speech as they appeared to be on TV. It's just as difficult to believe the Clintons have their hearts and souls in a race that will either elect Kerry or leave John Edwards as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. But it's obvious the public believes the Clintons are sincere in their support of this year's ticket. Time will tell.
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