Huffpost Homepage

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Marc Cooper Headshot

Big Dawg Clinton: Use 'em or Lose 'em?

Posted: Updated:

After Saturday's whuppin' in South Carolina, will the Hillary campaign finally snap the muzzle down on Bill? Or has Big Dawg strayed completely out of control?

No question that as much as Slick Willie boosted Hill's campaign in New Hampshire and Nevada, he went a mound of dung too far in South Carolina. His shameful rampage against Obama, the latest episode coming in his implication that the Hillary's chief rival, started ticking off not only the political and media elites, but it also set off a ground-level backlash that directly contributed to Saturday's lopsided results.

The more Bill barked, the greater the number of voters who started reaching for the pepper spray.

I claim no special insight into the Hillary campaign. I can only pass along the sweaty beads of info that trickle out. Just as many people inside the campaign tell me that coordination between Bill and Hill couldn't be tighter and more closely calibrated as tell me the complete opposite: that Bill's in veritable political heat, that his verbal rutting is beyond anyone's control.

Clinton, or better said, the Clintons were expected to lose South Carolina but not by the crushing 2 to 1 margin that resulted. It was expected that Hillary would win more votes among white men than Obama. But not just by the meager single points in the final tally.

The definitive chapter in the Democratic primary now opens and will most likely culminate during the 22 state showdown on February 5. Until Saturday's crushing defeat in South Carolina, Clinton -with superior organization and institutional firewalls--was heavily favored in Super Tuesday mega-states of California, New York and New Jersey. Some of that confidence went up in smoke in the aftermath of Saturday's Palmetto State Massacre.

Hillary's handlers must now calculate quite precisely just how much more Bill Clinton should be deployed in these crucial next two weeks. Or how much he should be muzzled. Or if they even have a say in the matter.

Bill Clinton was, surely, a president who enjoyed great popularity. But also great scorn.

Use 'em, or lose 'em?