The Blog

Last: Clinton's Running Mate

10:20 AM, Jan 16, 2008 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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Las Vegas
One of the most interesting post-Iowa developments in the Clinton campaign has been watching Bill Clinton take on the traditional role of running mate/hatchet man. Of course, traditionally "running mate" means "vice president," but this is an important time in our nation's history. Our nation is at war, our planet is in peril, and it's time to change the old rules ... whoops! Wrong candidate.

In any event, Bill Clinton began taking after Obama in New Hampshire, claiming that the senator had gotten a free ride from the press and that his opposition to Iraq was a fairy tale. After Clinton surrogate Robert Johnson made reference to Obama's drug use this past Sunday, Bill Clinton was rolled out again, this time onto an African-American talk-radio program to defend Johnson's remarks. In the course of his defense, he then attacked the Obama campaign for doing "overtly racist" opposition research on his wife.

Last night, the former president was on the offensive again in Sparks, Nevada, where he said that Obama was somehow the "establishment" candidate who could only deliver the "feeling of change."

Whatever Hillary Clinton's merits, that doesn't fit with any rational assessment of the election. But having a spouse do much of the heavy-lifting when it comes time to thumping an opponent really is a genuine change in our politics.