On the heels of his successful campaigning for Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, helping her return from the dead to eke out a primary victory earlier this month, Bill Clinton has become very popular. The former president has over a hundred requests from congressional candidates on his desk. He’s especially in demand in the South and amongst Blue Dogs, fiscal conservative Democrats. After all, Clinton can rightfully claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility having left office with record surpluses.
Clinton gives priority to White House requests and leaders, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for whom he campaigned last week. Although, thus far the White House’s usage of Clinton has not been to his best advantage, ahem Joe Sestak.
Other times, Clinton is repaying old friends who stuck by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 bid for the presidency, such as Reps. Richie Neal of Massachusetts and Sander Levin of Michigan – both of whom of are next on the Clinton’s long list. Hillary, as secretary of state, is barred from all politicking and Clinton’s staff says the two do not by any means coordinate his campaign schedule.
Above all, he goes where he feels he can make a difference: he’ll also soon be campaigning for Kendrick Meek who’s in a toss up race for Senate in Florida and Libby Mitchell who’s in a tight race for governor of Maine.
Clinton’s advice to candidates? “Get out and tell the people what you’re doing and what you’ve done and remind them that this is a job,” he told Ron Fournier of the AP last week in Nevada. “I think you have to tell people you know why they are mad and you know why they are frustrated but the question is, What is the most productive thing to do with it?”