POLITICS
05/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"He Doesn't Like Obama"

The New Yorker profiles the role of Bill Clinton and his rivalry with Barack Obama:

When Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign was launched, in January, 2007, her supporters feared that Bill would overshadow her, as he had when they both spoke at the funeral of Coretta Scott King, a year earlier. Now the constant fear is that he will embarrass her. When he makes news, it is rarely a good day for his spouse. Whether he was publicly comparing Barack Obama's primary victory in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson's campaigns in the eighties or privately, and apoplectically, complaining that Bill Richardson broke his word by endorsing Obama, every story has seemed to reinforce an image of Clinton as a sort of ill-tempered coot driven a little mad by Obama's success. "I think this campaign has enraged him," the adviser told me. "He doesn't like Obama." In private conversations, he has been dismissive of his wife's rival. James Clyburn, an African-American congressman from South Carolina, told me that Clinton called him in the middle of the night after Obama won that state's primary and raged at him for fifty minutes. "It's pretty widespread now that African-Americans have lost a whole lot of respect for Bill Clinton," Clyburn said.

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