LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — “You haven’t changed a bit!” Kirk Hanlin, an advance man for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, told Stanley Greenberg, the campaign’s pollster, as they stood in an airy room at the Clinton Library here on Friday. “Well, maybe your hair. I kept looking for the hair, for the afro, for the mustache.”
Scores of former Clinton aides descended on downtown Little Rock last weekend to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his announcing his candidacy. It was a “Don’t Stop Thinking About Yesterday” bash amid pervasive Democratic anxiety about President Obama’s electoral future.
The class of ’92 cast its reunion as a tacit — and sometimes not so tacit — rebuke of the current president and his un-Clintonian aversion to the political fray. Some erstwhile Clinton aides wore “I Miss Bill” T-shirts and “It’s Still About the [Expletive] Economy, Stupid” buttons. Others privately regretted Hillary Rodham Clinton’s acceptance of the secretary of state post — the theory being that she would be better positioned to replace Obama if she had stayed in the Senate.