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Sunday, October 23, 2016

President Obama’s top political operatives — including campaign chief adviser David Axelrod — traveled from Chicago and Washington to the headquarters of the William Jefferson Clinton foundation in Harlem last Wednesday afternoon for a meeting with the former president and two of his top aides. The topic? How to re-elect the current president — including some very specific advice from Clinton, according to sources present.

The Nov. 9 meeting, which went on for more than two hours, also included Clinton counselor Douglas Band and Justin Cooper, a senior adviser whose multiple responsibilities have included work on the former president’s memoir and last two books. Their guests were former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, who is serving as Obama’s 2012 campaign manager; Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee who until recently oversaw political affairs in the White House; and Obama’s lead pollster Joel Benenson, who played the same role in the 2008 campaign.

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  • hankgsr

    Though former President Clinton has at times been a pain in the butt to the Obama adm., I think this is a smart move on the part of Team Obama to get his insights and the plan to actively use him in the up and coming campaign, as love or hate him, you have to give the man his props for being a master politician.

  • MaryLRandall

    Sec. of State Clinton is the kind of dedication to our country we should expect from past and present representatives in our gov. However, it seems to me, President Clinton doesn’t make that commitment. Supporting Sec. of State Clinton is apparent in President Clinton’s remarks, but a slight disappointment in President Obama is also apparent in President Clinton’s remarks. The election is going to be about choice, and any mild disappointment by a past popular president towards President Obama, could swing the voters towards the other choice. The upcoming election for President is one of the historical choices of all or nothing in a very long time. Are we hearing balance in the GOP debates?

  • Saa in Ala.

    I feel this is an excellent strategy for the Obama Campaign Committee because as a Democratic Party in unity with one another we should employ all Democrats that have a Positive Stance with the Public to win this Election. There is a lot of Negativity from the Incompetent Republicans who by any means necessary, they want to own the White House to Destroy the country. All of this is for Selfish reasons because we can overcome the deficit problem if we all stick together for this common cause; JOBS!

  • vmcswn

    This is indeed a smart move by the Obama Campaign Committee and one I expect they will follow through with fully, and to the end. Besides President Obama’s own accomplishments during his Administration, save the nation’s economic woes, Bill Clinton’s brilliant mind and wise strategies I believe will bring victory to the Democratic party once again. This is vital! The Republican leadership is hell bent on destroying a good President’s reputation and on bringing our Country to the brink of chaos. We need positivity, not negativity. The Republicans have nothing but contradiction and hatefullness. I believe President Obama can beat any one of the present Republican candidates hands down! I also believe Bill Clinton is fully committed to ensuring we are on the right track and the right side of History!

  • TCfromVA

    Smart move. The president submitted the JOBS Act bill to congress. Congress rejected it. The President then took it apart and resubmitted to congress. Still in congress. Then the president ends the war and begin deployment of our troops to come home. Now the troops are home and they wanna know where are the jobs? President Obama can say to the troops I’m doing all I can do to get the country working again. But there are some whose agenda is to make me a one term President instead of the business of the our nation. JOBS!

  • MiMi

    Finally, Obama and advisors are swallowing their pride and asking Bill Clinton for help. I hope they haven’t waited too late. Don’t get me wrong. I think Obama is brilliant, dedicated and meant to be president–but not in 2008. Timing is indeed everything. And IT WAS NOT HIS TIME IN 2008. He was too naive and idealistic. Hillary had long since been cured of that condition of youth. That is why she SHOULD HAVE BEEN President in 2008 and then by 2016, Obama would have been at the top of his political prowess and ready to be one of the most brilliant presidents of all times. But, for reasons that had nothing to do with Hillary’s ability or electability, the “good Ole boy” Democratic Party leaders recruited and threw their money and influence behind Obama. They tapped into Obama’s mystique and decided he was the only one who could win the nomination over Hillary–which was vastly important to them for some crazy reason. Was it because she was a woman or didn’t Bill Clinton play their game when he was president? Who knows. Either way, they are responsible for harm to Obama, Hillary and the country. Well, they should have buyer’s remorse by now. And let me be clear, despite what I’ve just said, I strongly believe that Obama, on his absolute worst day, is light years ahead of the “jokes” the GOP have out there. If we think this country is in bad shape now, then you’d better find yourself a cave to climb into if one of the GOP incompetents get elected. I’m not saying that we’d be in great shape if Hillary had been president, but she would have tackled the economy straight off. As a Registered Nurse and a wife of a husband who’s fought a battle with cancer for 7 years, I am passionate about health care reform. BUT, it was not the first battle that should have been fought. Obama used up a large part of his equity in fighting that battle when he should have been using it to fight the economy battle–especially while the Democrats were in control of both houses. That is the wisdom that Hillary would have brought. But, Obama is a fast learner. I think he will be much more prepared to deal with the reality of Washington this second term. I’m sure he is no longer naive and that his idealism has lost its shine. (such a shame it has to be that way–but that is the way it is). I hope Bill Clinton told them that Obama must start talking to the America public and calling the GOP to task for putting their political ambitions–especially their hatred and burning desire to defeat Obama–ahead of what the country desperately needs. They are willing to sacrifice our economy and our very way of life to make Obama look bad. Mitch McConnell is the ring leader and this is a personal thing for him–his intense hatred (for some reason?) and dogged determination to defeat Obama at all costs!

  • tinahow

    I think it is truly an awesome thing that our former President Clinton is willing to sit down with aides from the Obama camp to present ideas and strategies on putting together a major victory for the 2012 Democratic Party election. Love him or otherwise, he is truly a brilliant and wise man. I think if we continue to work toward this common goal and stay focused we will be victorious in the November 2012 election.

  • Cliff

    this president spends more time on vacations, has he heard of ca @ wifewe do know were they are.
    WE should pass law and have Bill Clinton back for 4yrs

  • Terry Watkins

    As I was saying when my last attempt to communicate was cast into the vortex, I think that it is somewhat negative that the outcome of the meeting was that Clinton was approached personally and was asked to assist in the campaign in some capacity(an official invitation, I presume.) To what? Is this an article about Clinton’s being asked? There is no report of Clinton’s reaction, other than the “expectations” of the President’s representatives. Am I misreading this, or is it just a bunch of campaign nonsense? Clinton’s loyalty to the Party virtually requires that he hit the campaign trail. Where would he be if the Conservatives landslid the Democrats, and he had done nothing? He has no choice but to campaign. The only question is whether he can be genuine enough to shake off some of that old Clinton magic onto the President. As a mouthpiece, I think Clinton is perhaps more of a liability, because his true feelings come through. He has never been successful at lying, witness his “I have never had sex with that woman” attempt. Can Clinton really support Obama from the heart? Clinton isn’t an entirely reliable ally, especially if one of his pet issues is at stake and is in conflict with the program. So I think that this great announcement was truly a bunch of Sis-Boom-Bah-Rah-Rah-Rah political posturing. I don’t see it as all that positive. As I said, I could be mistaken, but. . . if the shoe fits, wear it.

  • Dianrib

    Oh please Bill Clinton did not have to deal with 2008 global crash / depression or 2 long failed wars based on lies & profits. Bill is not black so NO racism Bill brought on his own problems. There is no comparison here. The GOP phony liars make Obama the only choice He has a record to run on and yes Fox fans Obama has done much good under intense pressure & hate from GOP who vows to break him by tanking the economy / jobs.

  • rfarrell72653

    Smart move on Obama’s part. Remember back in 2000 when Al Gore DISTANCED himself from Clinton? Had nothing to do with him. Refused to let Clinton participate in his campaign. And WHAT HAPPENED TO AL GORE???

  • damudbug

    If we look back at the 12 years Reagan and H.W. Bush were Presidents, we see that our nation was in terrible shape and in the red as far as our economy and the trillions of dollars in debt. President Clinton left office with not only a ballanced budget but a Government surplus. G.W. Bush then took us to Iraq for the wrong reasons. We know that now. He spant trillons of dollars on the war in the Mid-East with nagative results. Obama took over with our Nation in a financial nightmare. Bush not only spent trillions catching Saddam and his two sons simply out of revenge because Saddam had once ordered the assassination of his Daddy. Then he bailed out the Big Banks, Two American automakers, and did not make a dent in Afhganistan. At least Obama got rid of Bush’s choice of theater Commanding General after 8 years of failure Then with his new Commanding General we found Bin Laden hiding for over 7 of Bush’s years in office in Pakistan. Bush was even sending billions of dollars to Pakistan, (who by the way we now know is harboring terrorist cells.) I would rather see President Clinton in the White House where we really need him now but if President Obama listens to Clinton and does what Clinton tells him, he will be able to see our economy prosper again and get us out of the Mid-East. The war on terror is over. Shure there are always going to be terrorist but our main goal now is to keep Iran from developing nucular weapons of mass distruction.

  • Pastorron

    As for our President Obama He has my vote for another term as my President. It has not been enough time for him to get America out of dept but He is doing a Great job of it with what He has been given to do it with. He it doing His best to help the Veterans and the elerly in America. But I do have a comment if he would lower the tax on bussines they would not have to leave America and go to other country where the taxes is lower.

  • Tom Camfield

    Bill Clinton not only is a statesman, a rarity in modern times, he also is a humanitarian. He’s the sort of guy one wants to “ride the river” with. Intelligence also oozes out of the guy. And Hillary Clinton is right up there on the same level. We’re fortunate to have her as Secretary of State in these trying times.

  • peterb13

    Former President Bill Clinton is one of the most skillful campaigners in recent history. President Obama’s team would be wise to consider his advise carefully. I don’t know if The former President had anything to say about this, but The Obama campaign should actively and strongly support efforts to take back the House and strengthen the Democrats hold o the Senate. The latter is a real challenge because of probable losses in the midwest. Particularly Nelson in Nebraska (good riddance) and the South Dakota seat (although I hear there is a good candidate running there). We should pick up a seat in Mass. and hold a seat in Conn. but it’s going to be tough elsewhere.

  • Nick

    Republicans (specially the tea partiers)have done a lot of damage to USA,s economy and job growth. It is time to defeat and throw these rascals out of power in the 2012 election. It is time for the democrats to gain a solid majority in the House and the Senate. The move by Obama campaign chiefs to meet with Bill Clinton and his team is a very good action. Both presidents Obama and Clinton are brilliant guys and should work hard and smart to give a crushing defeat to republicans who are on the wrong path.

  • rustacus21

    …is one way to look at this. Another way is for each of us to look at ourselves in the mirror & ask what have WE done? Are we waiting for some savior, or is it up to each of US, to ensure that every election, we encourage others to stay on the issues, be PREPARED to vote Progressive/Liberal, vigorously ENGAGE Conservatives, correcting them at every turn of every erroneous thought, belief & word they hold, getting their minds framed around what Democracy truly is & what it involves (THEIR repudiation of fear (Fox-style), ignorance & misinformation). This, combined w/the above (article) makes correcting the wreckage of the ’01-’09 executive DISASTER much easier, by much more able “representatives” & guarantees Democratic majorities in the House, Senate & a reprise & domination of the executive for as long as it takes for Conservatives learn to live coherently & cohesively, in this Democracy!!!

  • MaBell


  • hope12rioamerica54

    Talking about the problem is very good. No one should ignore the power of words.However, One should realize also how cheap it is if no action is taken. My question is: How much sincerity are we putting to our commitment to act towards the common goal?

  • ChristopherAdekoya

    In a nutshell, President Obama has ruled by the book as laid out by the Democratic Party leaders. The Democratic Party leaders, in and out of congress, have had great influence on his decisions, even if some deny it. It is easier to pass all the blame for the tanked economy on Obama; however, when it comes to evaluating Obama’s leadership, I believe he has done pretty well, given the dynamics of Republican recalcitrance.

    Given that no prior campaign message easily translates to leadership, the stakes to correct for the anomaly in the economy have been rather high for this Presidency. Now, who is without a sin, let him or her cast the first stone! Although polls indicate Obama must not run on his domestic economic performance or records, else he looses; the reality is: Obama has a lot going for him in many other areas of political economy that the campaign can allude to: How about the effort to court the Asian market? How about bringing the Iraq war to an end? How about the fight against medical inflation from the health care reform bill? How about Obama’s conviction and efforts in making deals, an essential aspect of Democratic leadership that is absent from Tea Party and stone-walling Republicans?

    What the campaign managers have to do is to drum up an unconventional diatribe to becloud any proposed promises of Mitt Romney. Talking with President Clinton is not only a wise move, it is a way to conduct an audit of who is where with respect to canvassing for votes in those battle ground states. For the records : 1) Obama’s Foreign Policy successes cannot be matched by Romney’s promise (Listen to his comments on Iran and Israel); 2)Justify the nature of economic failures as endemic of a capitalistic system’s wave of boom and burst dynamics that Presidents have little or no control over. Talk to a Historical Economist. Read the February 1937 Economica Journal article by F.A. Von Hayek, Economics and Knowledge.(Now fashion the shortcomings of Keynesian Economics as espoused by Hayek in this article, in a campaign message that repositions Obama in a more favorable light); 3) Change the slogan of hope to, here and now, highlighting the message: the devil you know is better than a saint closely associated with Wall Street double dealing; 4)Challenge the flip-flop status of Romney and insist that the health care bill is the best thing that has ever happened to this country; not withstanding the naysayers and Romney’s failures in Massachusetts that has led to the Federal Government picking up the tab; and 5) Create a path for campaign that is not too tied up with domestic issues: unemployment problems.

    Many progressives will vote Obama and he has my vote any day. Keep a good spirit!

  • suzanna duffy

    i am 50 years old ,and never voted til obama.i believe we are where we are suppose to life in the last 3 years have been in shambles,i barely have a roof over my head,get food stamps and cant find a regular job.but this i know, president obama will be re-elected and he will go down in history as 1 of our best.reaching out to clinton is great,as i believe that one of bill clintons finest hours in his legacy is to help this man stay in the white house.we are so inter-woven with all countries,and obama is truly love all over,and that is money in the bank.

  • dpaano

    Cliff…you obviously have not done your homework, but ex-President Bush took MORE vacations (almost a year of vacation time)during his term than President Obama has taken. Please check your facts before spouting off with things that are incorrect.

    As for President Obama turning to ex-President Clinton for assistance in his campaign, I couldn’t be happier! President Clinton is a wise and intelligent man who was a great president (despite his proclivities). President Obama can learn a great deal from him, especially how to handle the GOP. With all the nut jobs that the GOP has running, President Obama is pretty much a shoo in; however, knowing what to do once he IS re-elected to bring this country back in line is very important. I wonder if ex-President Clinton is eligible to run as Obama’s vice president (or at least be one of his cabinet members). Let’s keep our fingers crossed that he will be the guiding light for our president in the upcoming year or so before the elections. I have great respect for him and know that our President also feels the same way.

  • Patti

    I totally “DITTO” what Mimi had to say! You took the words right out of my mouth!

  • Patti

    Responding to what MiMi said, I say “DITTO”! You took the words right out of my mouth!


    … to see these two working together. Despite Clinton being suckered into the Lewinsky setup (orchestrated I am sure by secret GOP apparatchiks and financed in part by Richard Mellon Scaife–the equivalent of the Koch brothers of that day–and by the way did you ever wonder how Monica was supported financially while she was an unpaid intern at the White House–and how effectively she was whisked out of the way when it was all over?) this country was well in the black economically, the populace was not demoralized, downtrodden and running scare like now, and the subprime mortgage racket had never even been heard of. As soon as Bush II continued the agenda of deregulation the crooks came out of the woodwork like fleas on a warm spring day.
    Clinton is a statesman. Obama is a statesman. The GOP rabble is like the clown car at the circus.
    Go Obama! Go Clinton!


    @ rusticus21: you’re right on. It is indeed the job of EACH of us to take on the lies, half-truths masquerading as truths, and hate when and where we encounter it. I had a summer job this year with a company that makes extremely expensive parlor toys for the 1% and the one-percent-wannabes. One of the managers believes that Vermont is a socialist state because long ago it banned billboards. Get the picture? The company has a retail shop and little antiques museum and one day a couple stopped in and wanted to see the big expensive toys on display. The manager started to give the man a dose of his far-rightwing views and the man, to his credit, just kind of said, “I don’t agree with you.”
    It doesn’t take much, folks! If that rightwinger has no actual hold on you, you can speak up!
    By the way, here in Vermont every registered voter takes the Freeman’s Oath (which goes back almost 250 years) that declares I am voting my conscience without “fear or favor” – that is, I am not being coerced or intimidated or bought off.
    The moment is fast approaching when Obama’s words will ring truer than ever: “YES WE CAN.”

  • Saul Miano

    I don’t know how much Bill Clinton will help, but anything that will help defeat the “‘No’ it alls” of the Republican and Tea Party factions is worthwhile.