It took them a minute, but Democrats are finally realizing that Bill Clinton is bad.
The New York Times, using an uncharacteristically blunt headline, “No One Wants to Campaign With Bill Clinton Anymore,” reports that Clinton has only appeared at a “handful of private fund-raisers” for midterm candidates because he seems to invite more trouble than help.
In recent years, the public has come to reckon with the fact that Clinton has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by four women, and, as the most powerful man in the world, had an affair with a 22-year-old White House intern. Clinton hasn’t done himself any favors while dealing with the fallout, either, like when he was pressed by the Today Show’s Craig Melvin in June, and offered the following angry response: “I dealt with it 20 years ago, plus, and the American people, two-thirds of them, stayed with me. And I tried to do a good job since then with my life and with my work. That’s all I have to say.”
His centrist politics and general Get Off My Lawn demeanor are also not helping. In 2016, while campaigning for Hillary, he got into a fight with a Black Lives Matter supporter, rudely attacked Bernie Sanders, and mocked the Affordable Care Act.
So in 2018, many Democratic candidates seem to be coming around to the fact that Clinton is dead weight if they want to turn out young voters and build out their base instead of just playing the hits for old, white, rich Democrats. The Times reports:
“I’m not sure that with all the issues he has, he could really be that helpful to the candidates,” said Tamika D. Mallory, an organizer of the Women’s March, who’s now promoting female candidates across the country. “It would do the Democratic Party well to have Bill Clinton focus on his humanitarian efforts.”
But of course he’s still getting around a little:
The former president, once such a popular political draw that he was nicknamed his party’s “explainer-in-chief,” has only appeared at a handful of private fund-raisers to benefit midterm candidates, according to people close to him.
He added one more last week, headlining a Wednesday evening fund-raiser in New York City last week to benefit the campaign of Mike Espy, Mr. Clinton’s former agriculture secretary who is running for Senate in Mississippi. Mr. Espy’s campaign declined to comment on the event.
“Declined to comment” is truly a rousing endorsement of the Epsy campaign’s time with the former president.