Jansing and Co | October 11, 2012
>>> he is the busiest guy on the campaign trail who is not actually running for anything. this week bill clinton is in las vegas , arizona, california, iowa, indiana, talking up candidates for the house and senate, not to mention the president. let me bring in ann lewis , former communications director for bill clinton . always good to see you. good morning.
>> good morning.
>> so of course the former president's convention speech was absolutely off the charts. candidates are clamoring to be seen with him. is bill clinton bigger than he's ever been?
>> that's an interesting question. you're right, he sort of came back into our political focus at the convention. if you think about it, clinton who had been out of office for eight years has been working at the clinton foundation , at the clinton global initiative , he's been bringing health care and economic opportunity to people around the world. and then he steps into the political spotlight as he it at the convention and we all go wow. he has it. he can talk about the economy, the direction of the economy. country. what he says makes such good sense and we want more.
>> he has a very impressive campaign schedule. here are just a few. he was in arizona with richard carmona running for senate. and he told one of his stories about how carmona was both a surgeon and on a s.w.a.t. team at the same time.
>> part of the time he was head of the s.w.a.t. team. so the head of the s.w.a.t. team is a raw made surgeon. i expect before this is on over to see one of those republican super pacs run an ad attacking him for trying to generate business for himself. only reason he did it was so he could wound a few people and make a job for himself as a trauma surgeon .
>> you talk about him connecting and he does it in that way. does he sit up all night trying to figure out these stories? it really is one of the most natural things that has ever been seen in modern politics the way he tells those stories.
>> you're right. and when you see that, you understand why more and more candidates are asking him to come to their district. i have heard from people, i hadn't heard from for years, who are hopingky put in a good word and i'm not part i think there are two things that make bill clinton so effective. and the first is he really cares about these issues. he cares about the direction of the country. he spends a lot of time thinking about it, thinking about economics, thinking about which policies will make sense. but the second part is he enjoys it. he likes going out there and campaigning. he likes this chance to meet people, to listen to them, to talk with them. to think about how he can best explain what's at stake to reach the largest number of people. and that enjoyment comes through.
>> so it begs the question, how much is it bill clinton just loving to be out there on the campaign trail and how much of it collecting chips just in case hillary clinton runs for president?
>> i have to go he back to my first point which is that he knows this election is important. there are a lot of things former presidents can do. a lot of them are more relaxing than being out on the campaign trail. bill clinton believes that the choices we make in this election are important for our country. that's what he told us the night of the convention. that's the single biggest reason. that's why he does it and that's what comes through. if this were just a political maneuver, he would not be so effective.
>> put your strategist hat on for just a minute. there was an op-ed in the hill that said the president should fight to the end to defend bill bird , but if he wants to be reelected, she stand as close as possible to bill clinton . and i'm wondering how does the obama campaign use him best? where is bill clinton , how is bill clinton most effective?
>> i think we've already seen some very, very effective operations with bill clinton . and of course that begins with the convention where you can see the numbers moving as bill clinton spoke. you've seen him going into target states, working with candidates who in turn will turn out the vote that will make a difference for president obama . and he is also and not so incidentally in a year in which democrats are facing this flood of post-citizen united super pac money , bill clinton has done fund-raising with the president, he's been doing fund-raising alone. he's been a real partner every step of the way.
>> ann lewis , good to have you. thank you so much.
>> my pleasure.