Given that Bill Clinton is speaking tonight, this thoughtful David Maraniss article is worth considering. And, reading a bit between the lines, it gets even better. These two guys, he says, "could be pals" (because of similar backgrounds, I guess) and both are "acute political animals", and yet there is a "complex dynamic" involved, especially on Bill’s part.
The first thing that struck me about it is that it is now becoming increasingly clear that the real problem between them (and therefore Hillary) is that (1) Obama doesn’t like Bill Clinton, and (2) Billy is offended because he wants to be liked, and then (3) I can’t help thinking that this is not over because the Clintons’ ambition is not yet fulfilled. On the third point: The Clintons are in this for the long haul, and because they will stay in politics (as will Obama) they mean to come out on top, eventually. If Obama gets elected, it will be a longer wait, and they plan to wait it out. I think they are betting that Obama will lose; hence the tepid support, and a lack of inclination to hide the mutual dislike from the public. The Clintons know that Obama can’t get elected without their support; Obama has not been persuaded of this until recently. I think Obama’s scrambling, for he may have realized that he lacks a serious base (liberals, academics, blacks, the younger voters, are not enough); you do need the women (white men you could lose, if you get the women, the so-called gender gap). Bill’s speech tonight will just be theater.