When Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992, he told voters they were getting “two for the price of one,” referring to his wife, Hillary Clinton. Now, some 24 years later Donald Trump is reminding voters that they again will be getting “two for the price of one.”
Bill Clinton brings charisma to any campaign
There is no denying that Bill Clinton brings charisma and political shrewdness to any campaign. He remains a popular former President and has always had a knack for reading the public’s pulse. At the same time, former Presidents are not receptive to being told what to say. Bill Clinton is a passionate man and has a tendency to go off script at inopportune times.
In 2000, Al Gore chose to not to use Bill Clinton in his campaign, and that decision may have cost him the election. In 2008, political observers felt that some of President Clinton’s comments about Barack Obama changed the momentum of the race during the primaries and denied Hillary the nomination. Earlier this year, former President Clinton made a remark that was interpreted by some as being critical of the current President:
Voters should support [Hillary Clinton] if you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that.
— Bill Clinton – Salon
Potential conflict of interest with Clinton Foundation
The continuing release of Mrs. Clinton’s emails has drawn attention to possible conflicts of interest between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Mr. Clinton is very proud of the work of the Clinton Foundation and considers it his personal legacy.
We're trying to do good things. If there's something wrong with creating jobs and saving lives, I don't know what it is,
— Bill Clinton
Trump may bring up impeachment
Donald Trump is expected to make the former President’s political and personal record a part of his campaign, and they are likely topics to come up in the debates. The Clinton campaign has been preparing for references to the Monica Lewinsky episode that sparked the former President’s impeachment in 1998 (Clinton was acquitted of the charges by the Senate).
The challenge for the former President will be to stay on the sidelines in the face of attacks from Trump. If the campaign becomes focused on former President Clinton rather than Hillary Clinton, it could end up costing her the election.