Sell­ing Clin­ton in Iowa

For­mer pres­i­dent steps into spot­light in wife’s cam­paign.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Bloomberg News

There’s at least a bit of irony in the fact that Iowa is now look­ing like a bet­ter state for Hil­lary Clin­ton than New Hamp­shire.

The Iowa cau­cuses have never been a field of dreams for Clin­ton or her hus­band, Bill, ar­guably Amer­ica’s most pow­er­ful Demo­cratic couple. In their pre­vi­ous cam­paigns, the Clin­tons have skipped the state, been en­cour­aged to skip the state and most re­cently, in 2008, recorded a third-place fin­ish.

But there was Bill Clin­ton on Thurs­day af­ter­noon in Iowa’s sec­ond-largest city, Cedar Rapids, stand­ing in front of the state’s flag and with a stand­in­groom-only crowd of hun­dreds to sell his spouse and a sec­ond Clin­ton pres­i­dency.

“I do not be­lieve in my life­time we have had a pres­i­dent that was more pre­pared, not only by ex­pe­ri­ence, but by tem­per­a­ment, to step in to this in­cred­i­ble mix of prom­ise and peril,” he said of his wife. “I don’t think it’s close.”

The for­mer pres­i­dent also sought to project the eco­nomic growth en­joyed by the na­tion dur­ing his ten­ure in the White House onto the 2016 Clin­ton cam­paign.

“This elec­tion, in my opin­ion, is about how to re­store broad­based


pros­per­ity,” he said. “We’ve only had it once in 50 years, in the 1990s, when I had the honor to serve.”

Clin­ton made his pub­lic cam­paign trail de­but on his wife’s be­half Mon­day in New Hamp­shire, af­ter spend­ing the first eight months of her can­di­dacy be­hind the scenes, ad­vis­ing and fundrais­ing out of sight of vot­ers and the me­dia.

That New Hamp­shire was Bill Clin­ton’s first stop sig­nals the greater ur­gency there than in Iowa.

The New Hamp­shire and Iowa ap­pear­ances are to be fol­lowed by many more na­tion­wide by the for­mer pres­i­dent in the weeks and months ahead as the Clin­tons seek to dampen the grass­roots fire Bernie San­ders has ig­nited.

While he at times strug­gled with mes­sage dis­ci­pline dur­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton’s 2008 cam­paign, the for­mer pres­i­dent has so far demon­strated a tighter grip on what he says.

That was on dis­play when re­porters asked him about Don­ald Trump’s com­ments re­gard­ing his past sex­ual trans­gres­sions as he was walk­ing out of an in­door mar­ket in Cedar Rapids, where he’d spent roughly an hour making small talk and pos­ing for pho­tos.

Clin­ton said he didn’t want to re­spond or en­gage in the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion race. If Trump is the Repub­li­can nominee, “We’ll have plenty of time to talk about it, if Hil­lary wins,” he said.

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