I hope I’m not being unfair to the former president. Or certifiably paranoid.
But I listened to the introductions Bill Clinton gave for John McCain and (via satellite) Barack Obama at this morning’s meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative... Bill’s big humanitarian project.
Clinton said he was “personally profoundly honored” by McCain’s presence and “profoundly grateful” that he came.
When it was Obama’s turn, Clinton thanked him less effusively. Clinton had words of praise for Obama, but he also managed to slip in this weird racial remark: “And as you might imagine, he’s pretty popular in Harlem.”
I’m taking that out of context. But even in context, it was... off.
I have uploaded both introductions to my Vox blog, for anyone who wants to listen for oneself. Click here to hear Clinton’s introduction of McCain; click here for his introduction of Obama. (Full video webcast is here.)
I realize the Clinton Global Initiative isn’t a partisan enterprise. It wasn’t the place for Bill to put down the Republican nominee or cheerlead for the Democrat.
But considering Clinton’s other public comments this week, I just feel him trying to boost John McCain.
And he is doing his wife a disservice.