Where was Bill?
Hillary Clinton’s much-anticipated video announcing her bid for the White House in 2016 included a range of diverse families talking about real economic issues but there was one glaring component that was missing: Her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
“Every day Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion,” Clinton said in her video. “You can do more than just get by, you can get ahead and stay ahead because when families are strong, Americans are strong.”
Hillary Clinton never mentions her strong family in the two-minute video. Candidates almost always include their families in their announcements to run for office, particularly the White House, but Clinton chose to make her announcement about the American people, not the Clintons.
She is re-branding her public image as a less hard-nosed mother and grandmother but, at least in her video, she intentionally downplays her four-decade role as a wife.
What strikes me as interesting is that while the Clinton campaign is now re-inventing her as a softer mother, grandmother, and family-oriented woman, it seems unnatural not to include Bill Clinton, her husband, in the discussion. If the strategy is to convince voters that Hillary Clinton isn’t a driven, calculating politician with heavily-crafted messages, then not acknowledging Bill Clinton only reinforces this perception.
So why doesn’t Bill Clinton, former president, husband, and famed political guru appear in the video?
Bill Clinton is a brilliant political strategist, a Rhodes Scholar, and a charismatic and controversial figure once dubbed “America’s first Black president.” But he also comes with baggage. He is praised by many and polarizing to others.
Some women can’t forgive Clinton for having an affair with Monica Lewinsky; and some black voters are still angry over Bill Clinton’s perceived racially-incendiary remarks during the 2008 presidential election where he characterized Obama’s candidacy as “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”
What Role Will Bill Clinton Play In Hillary’s Campaign? was originally published on blackamericaweb.com