Obama: Bill Clinton Can Speak About Whatever He Wants

If true, good on Obama:

When asked if there was any contention over Bill Clinton’s speech, Obama was quick to note what he told Clinton on the phone on Thursday. “I said, "Mr. President you can say whatever you like,”” Obama said. “Bill Clinton is a unique figure in our politics... It wouldn’t make sense to me to try and edit his remarks.”

I expect to here a lot about the economy if that is so. Definitely makes Bill Clinton's Wednesday night speech a must watch.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Polygraph (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by BDB on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:12:26 PM EST
    I think we'll know the truth of this statement when Clinton gives his speech.  If it's strong on economics - true.  If not - untrue.

    Of course, Clinton is such a good extemporaneous speaker, he could always submit one speech for "approval" and give another.  

    Sounds abouit right (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by DemForever on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:17:15 PM EST
    In any event, it would not be particularly difficult to weave in restoring a strong economy as an integral part of ensuring our national security

    But how do you know the reports... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Addison on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 08:05:59 PM EST
    ...about Bill wanting to talk mainly about the economy were true? I mean, don't you wonder if the whole contretemps has been manufactured or magnified by people who aren't Bill or Barack?

    That's my dream (none / 0) (#57)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 09:00:51 PM EST
    That Bill just speak from the heart about whatever he wants to tell us.

    He should have quit while he was ahead (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:14:33 PM EST
    Asked if Hillary even made the shortlist he said, "you can draw that conclusion."

    He sounds (none / 0) (#71)
    by weltec2 on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 03:13:39 AM EST
    completely disgusged. Who can blame him? To have your wife trampled and abused by party leadership that, many of whom, you thought were your friends and that you served for years and not be able to do anything about it... that would get to me too.

    DISGUSTED (none / 0) (#72)
    by weltec2 on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 03:14:52 AM EST
    oops! Sorry.

    In other words... (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:14:39 PM EST
    Team Obama wanted Bill to spew Obama talking points.  Bill said "While I will make it clear that I support Senator Obama unconditionally, I'm going to say what I want."  

    And Team Obama folded, because they knew that Bill Clinton wasn't going to back down, and "unsceduling" him because he wanted to speak his own mind would have been an absolute disaster.

    I can't watch (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:18:51 PM EST
    wish I could...but Obama gets the same reaction as bush does when he comes on TV, the channel changes or the mute button goes on.

    RE: I can't watch (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by JDEUNO on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 07:09:55 PM EST
    Ditto here....

    I wonder how many (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by ccpup on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 07:19:11 PM EST
    Americans are choosing not to watch this year?  It will be interesting to compare viewership ratings for this year with earlier Conventions.

    Or, rather, what would happen if we had a Convention and no one cared?



    Bill Clinton (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by chel2551 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:20:43 PM EST
    will deliver a speech that will help Obama.

    It will also remind us about both Clintons'  ability to appeal to the people.

    Obama had better take notes.

    In triplicate.

    "waves to Michelle"

    now obama's blown it! (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Turkana on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:21:07 PM EST
    because bill clinton will declare that hillary really wants the nomination, and is ready to fight for it, and is making an end run, and the superdelegates will see the light of the true path, and- puma puma puma!

    Naw, he'll just talk about (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Fabian on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:23:21 PM EST
    What It Means To Be A Democrat



    if i know bill clinton (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Turkana on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:24:28 PM EST
    btd's right- he'll talk economy, and he'll talk numbers, and he'll draw sharp contrasts, and no one in the world does it better!

    If You Changed That Title (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by BDB on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:32:26 PM EST
    to something like "Clintons Must Be Stopped", you could make that comment a Kos diary.  I'm just sayin'.

    rofl (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:44:39 PM EST
    A perfect rendition of the paranoia that has thus far pervaded these proceedings.

    Well... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Addison on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 08:09:11 PM EST
    ...she's a notable outlier but Alegre has basically said that this is what she's working for. So, I mean, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there aren't people justifying your paranoia if you fail to realize they're, in fact, a little out there.

    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Steve M on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 12:22:37 AM EST
    but my point is that people have driven themselves into a frenzy by fretting about the plots of powerless PUMAs.

    "A" for alliteration. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 12:27:13 AM EST
    Umm (none / 0) (#14)
    by DemForever on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:25:05 PM EST
    probably not

    lol, DemForever, may I introduce you to Turkana? (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Teresa on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:28:00 PM EST
    I am already happily married, Teresa (none / 0) (#22)
    by DemForever on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:30:41 PM EST
    But thanks for the thought

    My Prediction (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by BDB on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:26:30 PM EST
    has always been that Bill Clinton will make a better argument for Obama than Obama.  I'm sticking with that.

    No Kidding. (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by shoephone on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:30:38 PM EST
    Bill's speech will likely be the most memorable of the entire convention. He will step up to the plate and hit it right out of the park, because that's what he knows how to do.

    No one is saying... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:28:40 PM EST
    ...that Obama isn't telling the truth.

    The fact remains that Team Obama probably did what they always do --- try to control everything -- and Bill Clinton isn't about to be controlled like that.

    Then Obama is not running (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Cream City on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:50:17 PM EST
    his team and show well.  By them or by him or both, it looks to me like yet another in a long series of attempts to provoke Bill Clinton.

    And it didn't work.  So it is being backtracked.  But the attempt was made, and I've had it with that.

    These are not unifiers, whoever they are in the Obama camp.  He has had plenty of time to fix it, and it has not happened, so cannot he do so or does he not want to do so?


    From the random bits of coverage I watched (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 11:34:44 PM EST
    today (and they were pretty random), the Obama surrogates aren't all on message.   Many folks are still getting as many digs in at the Clintons as possible, and if not the Clintons then Hillary's supporters.

    Others seem to have caught on that Unity is not a one-way street (these folks are the ones who I imagine have checked some polls recently) and are making some awkward attempts to not totally trash the Clintons.

    The problem is, every time I see Hillary or Bill speak, I can't help be reminded of what we would have had if the DNC leadership hadn't had their fingers on the scale.  It doesn't help.


    perhaps he doesn't sound genuine (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by cawaltz on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:29:50 PM EST
    When someone spends the better part of a couple months pretending that your presidency wasn't  anything special then tries to walk it back, he kinda loses credibility. Hey whatever though, I'm glad Bill gets to say what he wants. Personally, he's a better person then me because my chosen topic would be race relations if I were Bill. Why should Obama be the only one allowed to poke sharp objects at the Clintons.

    Well, it's a start (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jb64 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:32:32 PM EST
    About time Obama started pushing back against this ridiculous narrative about the Clintons. I would be equally happy to see Dean, Pelosi, Biden, and Obama surrogates in the media begin to push back on the narrative as well, it could go a long way towards healing some of the rifts in the party.

    Will they do it?

    too little too late and too opportunistic (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by cawaltz on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:44:01 PM EST
    for my taste. I'd have hard time not throwing up. Personally, I don't care if they kiss the Clinton's backside up and then down again without meaningful action(not "just words") I will consider them a bunch of phoneys.

    But I am going to daydream (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Jjc2008 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 07:05:08 PM EST
    and pretend Bill will lose it and just say the truth: that Dean is a controlling jerk who made sure Hillary could not win; that Brazille and Dean conspired with Ted Kennedy to take the power away from the Clintons......

    and then say, "You win Dean....now it's your party, your game and he walks out followed by Hillary, and her delegates from NY, PA and FL.

    OK, I know it's negative, and I know it can't happen and I really do believe I have to suck it up and vote straight dem because I really cannot deal with the thought of even four years of a thuglican, but a girl can dream, can't she. 8)


    I'm sort of hoping the same, even though I know (none / 0) (#61)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 11:24:31 PM EST
    it's just not happening.  But I'd really like to see just one person of Bill's stature (or near stature, few people can claim to be equal to Bill's) call these amateurs out on their divisive cr*p.

    EddieinCA (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:34:30 PM EST
    Since I received your e-mail cursing me out, I know you know you are banned from my threads.

    I have stolen Bill's speech notes (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by blogtopus on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:36:43 PM EST
    All it says on the paper: 'Mr. Obama, Chairman Dean, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid, Ms. Brazille and attending honorees, I bid you welcome to Denver. Congratulations on the nomination, Barack, and Good luck. See you in 2010 when you come looking for a REAL Democrat.'

    [skip away, flipping the bird at the skybox containing the DNC uber-contributors]

    I don't. (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by dk on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:59:12 PM EST
    Marc Ambinder confirmed the Bill speech mess.  Marc is so in the tank for Obama that he wouldn't have reported it, knowing how embarrasing it looks for Obama, if it weren't true.

    I'll concur (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by jb64 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 08:15:44 PM EST
    I believe that Obama needs to hold the Clinton's at arms length, as he is the nominee. Some will disagree, I know, but I doubt that it was ever his intention to not pay the Big Dog his due respects i.e. assigning him a speech topic.

    Obama can't force the media away from these narratives, but he can do what he did today. IMO he probably needed to do more of it, and as I've said, I'd like to see party leaders denounce this foolishness more than they are doing now. I believe that the media drives about 90% of this bulls#@t to the point that I can't even watch it anymore. Which is sad, because although I didn't support Obama in the primary, I'd like to celebrate the coming together of the party on this historic occasion, and I'd like to come away from it focused on getting Obama elected. I hope that will be the case. I hope that Howard Dean, and Nancy Pelosi can remove the foot from their mouths long enough to acknowledge that there are many of us not quite ready to "move on" I hope they will take a cue from the nominee and realize that they are as responsible as he is in fanning the flames of this distraction.


    That's BIG of him....OMG...I am mad. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Aqua Blue on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:59:58 PM EST
    I LOVE Bill Clinton and happen to think that he was by far the best President since John Kennedy and Roosevelt  before him.

    I just get more and more enraged at every slap in the face to Bill and Hillary.   Obama should  embrace the Clintons, not disrespect them and try to make them look bad.  

    Listening to Hillary is the only thing that returns my sanity.

    it seems to me (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by ccpup on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 07:04:30 PM EST
    that Team Obama and the clueless poo-bahs at the DNC have -- belatedly -- woken up to the mess they've created with the Democratic Party and the still undeniably powerful Bill and (especially) Hillary Clinton.

    Obama could have done this a week ago, two weeks ago, last month.  But now?  I think that train left the station months and months ago.

    It's like plugging up a five foot hole in your dinghy with half a stick of chewing gum and a tiny piece of Scotch tape thinking of course, THAT will do the trick for your trip around the World.

    Way too little, way too late.  That dinghy ain't gonna float.

    um, (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by ccpup on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 07:16:32 PM EST
    make a public show of at least offering to embrace the Clintons and try to put out the CDS fire he and many of his supporters insist on feeding?

    That could have been done much sooner.


    Buzz? Care to explain? (none / 0) (#60)
    by hairspray on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 11:07:27 PM EST
    I am assuming it is gossip. (none / 0) (#76)
    by hairspray on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 04:55:56 PM EST
    I sincerely doubt this. n/t (none / 0) (#63)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 11:28:49 PM EST
    If only (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Bluesage on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 09:06:36 PM EST
    Bill and Hillary would walk out there together and tell everyone that they are tired of fighting the Obama crowd, the media, the racism charge, the misogyny and the hatred and they will be taking a vacation and leave it to Obama and Biden to sell themselves to the public and try to pull off a win.  They could say that Al Gore has proven that great things can be done for people and the planet without the burden of political office and they will be taking that road.  Then walk off the stage and leave Obama/Biden and their supporters standing there with their pants around their ankles.

    Okay, I'm dreaming but it's a real nice dream, isn't it?

    that's a nice one (none / 0) (#75)
    by nycvoter on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 12:20:29 PM EST
    It would be a good opportunity for Bill (4.25 / 4) (#4)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:16:00 PM EST
    to speak about unity and how the DNC needs to bring it back by not gaming the system.  Oh yeah, and he can speak about the economy too, but who here thinks obama would heed any of his advice?

    Good (none / 0) (#7)
    by chrisvee on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:20:24 PM EST
    He had the sense to perform damage control and do it himself rather then have a surrogate do it.

    The remarks re: shortlist are ill-crafted, however.

    I think he has to do it himself..... (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:40:15 PM EST
    ...his surrogates are out of control. They need an intervention.

    Could have just been a misunderstanding I guess (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:23:20 PM EST
    If this theme night idea is just a set of guidelines and people can talk about what they want, that's awesome.

    Good for Obama.

    Obama on my TV (none / 0) (#15)
    by wasabi on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:26:18 PM EST
    I saw a brief interview of Obama and if I remember correctly he said that while the theme of the night was national security, Bill Clinton would have an opportunity to talk about economic issues since he had a sucessful record during his presidency.

    I wonder why they scheduled him for Wednesday if they wanted to keep the theme to national security and the object of the night is to show how Obama is ready to be CinC?  Couldn't fit him in on Tuesday?

    Supposedly (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by BDB on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:27:27 PM EST
    Hillary Clinton did not want her and her husband scheduled for the same night.  Makes sense - she wants to be recognized as a separate entity from Bill (something the Obama campaign had difficulty with during the primary).

    Wasn't Tuesday night originally (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:32:26 PM EST
    "Ladies Night" but soon scrapped?

    The whole point is... (5.00 / 6) (#28)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:35:38 PM EST
    ...that Bill Clinton should have been the "headline" speaker on Monday night -- and Hillary should have been the person who introduced Obama.  That is how you achieve party unity...

    Instead, the Obama campaign established theme nights and then added the Clintons as an afterthought.  

    If themes were required, Monday should have been about the Democratic Party -- with Bill as the headliner.  Tuesday should have been about Obama -- and how he is the Democratic Party (featuring Michele).  Wednesday should have been 'attack dog" night -- featuring Joe Biden.  And Thurdays should have been "unity" night, where the themes of the last three nights were recapitulated.


    Showing respect to hrc supporters required (none / 0) (#45)
    by Christy1947 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 07:05:21 PM EST
    fiving her a night when she and she alone was the headliner and then making it a material date for women's rights to do it on. Not just introducing him.

    Btw, msnbc said about an hour ago that her speech is in prime time and Bill's is not.


    It reads slightly different at Politico. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Iphie on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:34:14 PM EST
    Their account made it seem as though Obama was grudgingly allowing Clinton to choose his topic.

    At an avail just now, Obama downplayed Bill Clinton's displeasure at being assigned a speech on national security, Carrie Budoff Brown reports.

    "I have said as much to him three or four days ago," Obama said.  "I said Mr. President, you can say whatever you like. Bill Clinton is a unique figure" in Democratic politics."

    Although Wednesday is focused on foreign policy, "It wouldn't make much sense for me to edit his remarks" if he wants to make a case on the economy, as someone who presided over good economic times, he said.

    Reads more like 'well, the economy is not the theme of the night, but if he's gonna be a big baby about it, he can do whatever he wants.'

    A matter of tone, I guess.

    Eh (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by BDB on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:40:04 PM EST
    It's the Politico.  Dump truck full of salt.

    Actually in Politic's case..... (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:59:37 PM EST
    ...the bad impression they want to convey is about the Clintons and Obama....it's called a twofer.

    Well, Securing America's future is (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by hairspray on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 11:04:11 PM EST
    Wes Clark's slogan and he is not on the list of speakers for that theme.  What ever happened to him?

    He was particularly not invited n/t (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 11:27:20 PM EST
    I got a mailer from Wesley Clark (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 12:29:56 AM EST
    today in support of Obama's candidacy.  

    That must mean that they have him... (none / 0) (#70)
    by EL seattle on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 12:38:00 AM EST
    .... running the campaign's postage machine now.

    I'd wondered where he'd gone to.


    Phew (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:47:41 PM EST

    Democrats fall in love... (none / 0) (#39)
    by AlladinsLamp on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 06:55:49 PM EST
    Republicans fall in line.

    If he repeats that line, then he's all in.

    I hope it's true and I agree (none / 0) (#73)
    by nycvoter on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 12:08:41 PM EST
    we will know when we hear the speech. On a news show I had heard Clinton wanted to speak about the economy but BO wanted him to focus on foreign policy.  You would hope Obama has enough humility not to tell a former President what to say and to know enough to think WJC would do the right thing if showing up and would be best left to his own words.

    wow I hadn't read the comments (none / 0) (#74)
    by nycvoter on Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 12:11:38 PM EST
    I guess you all heard the economy/FP talk.  I would prefer to think Obama was gracious rather than WJC having to say, I'll say what I want