- Former President Bill Clinton is nervous about the 2020 election, according to comments he made at an event in Washington over the weekend.
- “The thing that bothers me about having 54 candidates, or however many we’ve got, is someone with rising potential will never hear his or her voice heard,” Clinton said.
- Clinton said friends tell him the election “could be a raving disaster for us.”
- The Clintons have not always been so concerned about politicians with “rising potential.”
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Former President Bill Clinton said he’s concerned that the large crop of 2020 Democrats will make it difficult for someone with “rising potential” to be heard.
At an event in Washington, DC, on Saturday night the former president told attendees, “The thing that bothers me about having 54 candidates, or however many we’ve got, is someone with rising potential will never hear his or her voice heard.”
Clinton said friends tell him the election “could be a raving disaster for us,” adding, “but you can’t tell. Someone will rise. And you’ve got to believe in that.”
The Clintons, who dominated Democratic politics for roughly 25 years, have a history of pushing against political newcomers or candidates who lack experience.
The former president made some controversial remarks when then-Sen. Barack Obama was competing with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic nomination, taking jabs at the Illinois senator’s resume. In some cases, this appears to have backfired on Clinton.
The late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was a powerhouse in Congress at the time, reportedly endorsed Obama over consternation with Clinton belittling the young senator in a phone conversation. Clinton apparently said, “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”
Clinton openly disparaged the future president a number of times in interviews that campaign season.
“I mean, when’s the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running? I mean, he will have been a senator longer by the time he’s inaugurated, but essentially once you start running for president full time you don’t have time to do much else,” Clinton said of Obama to Charlie Rose on PBS in December 2007.
It’s unclear who the Clintons might support this time around – or how beneficial their endorsement would be. The once preeminent political duo remain a divisive topic in Washington post-2016 and could be more of a liability than a boon to anyone vying to take down President Donald Trump.
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