POLITICS
08/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bill Clinton On Primary: "Freer" To Tell "Truth" Next Year

Bill Clinton talks to the Washington Post from Rwanda. He's still got thoughts about the Democratic primary, but don't expect to hear them for a few months:

In his first extended interview since his wife exited the campaign in defeat, Clinton said he was glad to be back doing international foundation work. "This is my life now, and I was eager to get back to it, and I couldn't be happier," Clinton said in a hotel suite, with three aides looking on.

In a session that lasted more than 45 minutes, Clinton described his role in the 2008 campaign as "a privilege, an honor," and said, "I loved it," but he declined to discuss any of his own possible mistakes, describing them as a distraction. "Next year, you and I and everybody else will be freer and have more space to say what we believe to be the truth" about the primaries, he said.

Clinton volunteered very little praise of Obama, beyond describing him as "smart" and "a good politician" when asked about him toward the end of the interview. He did, however, muse at length about the role that race could play in the general election -- the issue that some of his former black allies angrily accused him of introducing in the Democratic primaries -- as a factor, if not a decisive one.