More than Lunch for Barack and Bill
NEW YORK, NY — Former President** Bill Clinton** and Sen. Barack Obama spent an hour and a half lunching in Harlem on Thursday, “mostly” talking about the post-9/11 world, according to a joint statement from their spokespersons. Maybe.
Clinton is widely known, however, to dispense detailed political advice when he spends time with candidates. During the homestretch of the 2000 election, he was so bent on improving Al Gore’s image that he pushed his former running mate to watch “Saturday Night Live’s” debate skit, so that Gore might see how his foibles were playing.
Clinton did weigh into politics on Thursday, briefly, telling reporters that Obama would win “handily.”
If more predictions — or strategy — were presented in private, we won’t know. Unless Obama rolls out a new campaign message with that Big Dog flavor.
It’s a good bet that Clinton would agree with Obama’s disregard for recent polling fluctuations and Beltway Hatorade. (Reflected in recent Democratic sniping like this.) The gaffes and horse race stories that captivate reporters and political junkies have a “half life” of about 15 seconds, Clinton has observed, while elections can still be decided on the issues.
Clinton hits the trail for Obama in Florida later this month, where he’ll likely expand on his convention speech argument that voters can only trust Democrats to manage the economy fairly and competently.
Yes, it’s back to the basics, stupid.