I’ll be watching the debates tonight closely. Hope all of you will be too.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) has encouraged Bill Clinton to tone it down but did not say that the former President had crossed the line in his rough-handedness with Barack Obama and his campaign. Clyburn, an immensely impressive guy on Wolf Blitzer’s show today, also chastised Obama for not seeming to understand that the transformation that Ronald Reagan wrought set back the African-American community in America and all of those who were needing help.
While much has been made about Bill Clinton’s role in Hillary’s campaign and whether or not his conduct is unbecoming for a former President, I can’t help but think that there is some deep strategy at play here.
There is a possibility that Bill Clinton is beating up on Obama and engineering the environment for the Nevada caucus lawsuit so as to build confidence and attract votes that in another Gore-Bush-like standoff in Florida, Ohio or elsewhere that Clinton will be James Baker’s equivalent — that he’ll oversee a tenacious, tough as nails, hard-scraping fight to win and not give away the show as Gore did in Florida and as Kerry might have done in Ohio.
I’m not sure — but much of the howling at Bill’s tough tactics and their appropriateness could be a net positive in the build up to February 5th.
And on another front — today global financial markets crashed worse than any other day since 9/11/2001 itself. Whatever Bill Clinton may or may not be doing will be over when people look at American markets hemorrhage tomorrow.
I am helping to organize a forum Wednesday morning at the New America Foundation with economic advisers from most of the campaigns to talk about this crisis and the economy and what their candidates propose.
More on that later.
— Steve Clemons