For Whom the Bill Tolls? | NBC New York

For Whom the Bill Tolls?

Bill Clinton's speech at the DNC could make or break Barack Obama

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    Former President Bill Clinton is to speak Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention on a night when the party will try to portray Barack Obama as the best candidate to be Commander in Chief.

    For the second night in a row, the fate of Barack Obama's campaign rests in the hands of the Clinton family. As well as Hillary did last night, judging from Bill's recent comments, Obama may be pushing his luck.

    Bill Clinton, scheduled to give an anxiously anticipated speech tonight at the DNC, took another thinly veiled shot at the presumptive nominee in the hours leading up to his wife's call for party unity at the Democratic National Convention.

    "Suppose for example you’re a voter and you have candidate X and you have candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything but you don’t think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver," said Clinton.

    "This is the kind of question that I predict," he quickly added. "And it has nothing to do with what's going on now."

    No, Bill, of course not.

    It was clear to anyone listening that the Man From Hope still doubts the Candidate of Hope's ability to get elected or govern. Even former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani caught the insinuation, gleefully recounting the dis Wednesday morning on MSNBC.

    And it turns out the former prez is unhappy with his role in Obama's coronation week, reports Politico. The theme of the evening that Clinton is to speak is “Securing America’s Future,” a night devoted to portraying Obama as better choice for Commander in Chief. Clinton would rather talk about all his success at the helm of the American economy.

    It might be in Obama's best interest to give Clinton's time slot to Gen Wesley Clark, another, more gracious, support of the Sen. Clinton.

    And if Obama if still has any doubts about whether Bill can be trusted, he should consider this: Clinton will not be attending Obama's speech on Thursday.

    At least Clinton has the courage to let folks know about his getaway.

    "Candidate Y" was the second time since his wife had conceded the race to Obama that the former president called into to question Obama's viability.

    Asked on Aug. 4 if he believed that Obama was ready to be president, Clinton went with a non-denial denial.

    "You can argue that nobody is ready to be President," he told ABC News.  "You can argue that even if you've been vice president for eight years, that no one can be fully ready for the pressures of the office."

    Or, you could answer unequivocally in the affirmative, like a good team player.

    Clinton's anger with the Obama first reared its head in January when he dismissed Obama's opposition to the war in Iraq as "the biggest fairy tale I've ever heard."

    Things got ugly again when "The First Black President" plainly implied that winning the South Carolina primary was a black thing we didn't understand.

    "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here," shrugged Bill.

    It's ironic that eight years after Al Gore's loss to President Bush was blamed in part on keeping Bill Clinton at a distance, Barack Obama's quest for the White House could be derailed because he kept Bill too close.