This is interesting and may indicate a real problem. The Swamp reports that Bill Clinton is suddenly, completely and uncharacteristically silent about one subject on the campaign trail.
He is not mentioning Barack Obama. As in, at all.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.—In promoting his wife’s candidacy for more than an hour at a university campus today, former President Bill Clinton touched on a dozen ideas but didn’t mention one subject—the rival candidacy of Barack Obama.
Clinton was in the Metro East area of Illinois acting once again as the surrogate in chief for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign on a visit aimed at drawing support not only for Illinois’ Feb. 5 primary but also for one just across the river in neighboring Missouri on the same “Super Tuesday” date, all the while trying to get free publicity in the St. Louis media market.
Speaking in a crowded auditorium at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, packed largely with college students who awaited entry in the morning cold, the former president didn’t bring up Obama, the first-term Illinois Democrat and favorite son contender, or address the departure of former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina from the Democratic presidential race.
Clinton has come under fire in recent weeks for his sharp oratory in taking on Obama—something that has prompted concern among some leading Democrats and was reportedly a factor in the decision of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to back Obama over his wife, a New York senator and former first lady who also happens to be a Chicago native who grew up in suburban Park Ridge.
Clinton thanked Southern Illinois voters for the support they “gave me way back in 1992 in the Democratic primary, when about 70 percent of the people in this part of your state gave me a chance to go on and serve.” Clinton won 65 percent of the vote outside the Chicago area that year in a contest that included former Sen. Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts and former Gov. Jerry Brown of California.
“I’m also very grateful that so many people from Illinois have supported Hillary and stayed with her and recognized her extraordinary service,” the former president said.
Now it may just be that it was an appearance in Illinois – and state voters tend to take a real dim view of outsiders trashing one of their own. But it may be something more than that. The Clintons could well have realized that the building wave of revulsion at their antics is beginning to hurt Hillary – rather badly. With Edwards out of the race, camp Clinton stands to come under heavy fire from the left and the right at the same time. People are not – at all – happy with Clintons in the Democratic party itself at the moment. I wonder what their polling is showing.
My guess is, it is not good news. With Gallup now showing essentially a statistical dead heat, with Clinton still barely ahead, but Obama within the margin of error for the poll, there is a real problem for Clinton.