The deal, claims Edward Klein at the New York Post, was for Bill Clinton to rescue Obama’s struggling campaign in 2012 and, in return, Obama would take the unusual — though not unprecedented — step of throwing his full-throated support behind Hillary for the 2016 Democrat nomination. I’m tempted to call BS on this story. Why would Obama make that deal? In nominating Mitt Romney, the Republicans had all but conceded the 2012 election. Hollywood central casting couldn’t have come up with a better caricature for Obama to run against: A rich, middle-aged white guy whose sole governmental accomplishment was to write the blueprint for the unpopular Obamacare, thus taking Obama’s greatest electoral liability off the table. And when you add Obama’s celebrated ego to a weak GOP candidate, it’s quite a stretch to believe President Narcissus ever thought his re-election was in jeopardy. Nevertheless, Klein’s story is not completely implausible.
For his part, Obama wasn’t interested in Bill Clinton upstaging him during the presidential campaign. He resisted giving him any role at the convention.
But as last summer wore on, and Democrat enthusiasm waned, chief political strategist David Axelrod convinced the president that he needed Bill Clinton’s mojo.
A deal was struck: Clinton would give the key nominating speech at the convention, and a full-throated endorsement of Obama. In exchange, Obama would endorse Hillary Clinton as his successor.
Clinton’s speech was as promised; columnists pointed out the surprising enthusiasm in which he described the president. It also lived up to Obama’s fears, as more people talked about Clinton’s speech in the weeks following than his own.
But after his re-election, Obama began to have second thoughts. He would prefer to stay neutral in the next election, as is traditional of outgoing presidents.
Bill Clinton went ballistic and threatened retaliation. Obama backed down. He called his favorite journalist, Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes,” and offered an unprecedented “farewell interview” with departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The result was a slobbering televised love-in — and an embarrassment to all concerned.
Again, I’m skeptical. But I suppose nothing’s impossible. If this is true, what happens to Obama’s compatriot with a flair for rhetorical flourishes, Joe Biden? And given the scandals plaguing the Obama Administration, would an endorsement hurt or help Hillary? Of course Hillary’s role in the Benghazi scandal may render this academic regardless of whether or not there’s any truth to Klein’s story.
(h/t Drudge Report)