msnbc | September 05, 2012
barack obama of illinois was challenging new york senator hillary clinton for the 2008 presidential nomination . at the starting gate , it didn't seem to be a fair contest. obama , a sleeper. hillary , the front runner . bill clinton was the former president, wanting very much for his wife to be the next president. he said some things that caused trouble.
>> you said in 2004 there, was no difference between you and george bush on the war. give me a break. this whole thing is the biggest fairy tale i have ever seen.
>> it takes two of you to beat him?
>> jesse jackson won south carolina twice in '84 and '88.
>> obama was also less than chivalrous.
>> he's very likable. i agree with that. i don't think i'm that bad.
>> you're likable enough.
>> but the race had taken its turn by focussing on caucus states and out of the way primaries, obama gradually pulled away. then came billa and hillary offering strong endorsements. obama offers hillary the job of secretary of state. hillary insisted on the power to name all top heads of states. the treaty had clear lines. there remained a dmz separating the two camps. several people remained hillary people. tonight, a brand new climax. president obama needs help. president clinton wants to be and appears to be a good democrat. they have a common interest in winning this november, or do they? some think a loss by obama would leave the party in shambles with the clintons the last standing heroes. that's not my view nor is it bill clinton 's. the american economy is due for an upturn. no prdz with a strong economy can be beaten, so bill clinton is making the smart move, win this one for the party. win it and then clear the field for hillary . get her the nomination clean, then head all out for the general. better to try for an empty seat, better to run after a period of good economic health under a democrat than try to beat a strong republican incumbent. that's why bill clinton will be great tonight, truly great, because it happens to be good for all three of them.
>> love that the calculus about what's going on here now assumes that hillary clinton is going to run, that she is 96 in line for the nmentic nomination. i didn't believe all year that that was ever possible, but now it seems like nobody is even fighting that assertion anymore when it explains all of the other matchinations in politics.
>> i think she has to make up your mind, but her performance as secretary of state guarantees this, and her husband's performance as president and his increased popularity guarantee this as well, she will be demanded as a democratic nominee for president. she will be pushed and pushed and pushed, not just by her old allies, not by what is called hillaryland. she'll be pushed by the party to fill the empty seat of president. it will be so strong, i believe she will clearly accept it, relish it, and win the nomination. the other candidates are not going to really try to take her apart. i don't think they want to be the people that stand against the first woman president.
>> let me bring in andrea mitchell who has long covered the clintons as well as this obama administration, and has been close to hillary clinton . that scenario that chris was sketching out there, andrea, do you think that is in the minds of the clinton camp, and do you think some of what's driving this wholesale embrace by bill clinton of the current president?
>> yes, i do think in parts that's what driving it. we were watching a democratic parade of women senators on stage here. it's really a fact that the whole drive toward electing more women into office and the excitement on the women's issue which if it's successful will help re-elect president obama can contribute to the excitement of a future candidacy by hillary clinton . it's all sinner justic, and hillcry clinton can say as long as see will and does, that she has no interest, and as i was sitting here talking to you, i got a report from our producer w is traveling with hillary clinton through asia and back through the middle east and with many more stops. she's right there just landed in temore, i can't tell you where it is, but that's exactly what she wants to do, be the secretary of state and keep all our options open.
>> and staying in perpetual orbit is one way to do that. let me bring in lawrence o'donnell, as well. your reaction to what is said by andrea and chris to be a foregone conclusion that's what's going on here is that the clinton camp wants an obama second term so that hillary clinton is the obvious second plane on the runway.
>> hillary clintb is planning to run for president in 2016 . that's according to clinton money people, clearly clinton fund-raisers who have been alerted to be ready for this. they have been alerted about that for many, many months now. the trouble is there's a huge cross over in that group with andrew cuomo campaign financers. he also intends to run in 2016 . martin o'malley, another governor of maryland also intends to run. and we saw a performance last night by deval patrick that moved him up in the standing as a potential presidential candidate . i was as impressed as you were by deval patrick 's performance. i hadn't seen him deliver a speech like that. if he could do that on the campaign trail, that would be more dynamic than any of the rest of the candidates could do. but with bill clinton , he's never met an audience he didn't want to get a standing ovation from. if you invite him into a giant hall to give a speech, he's going to be there, and he's going to be there for this party doing what this party expects him to do. there's more than one incentive that brings him to the microphone, but hillary 's future is also foremost in his mind.
>> we're all thinking about the impact of tonight on november, but the more far sided among us are thinking about the impact of bill clinton 's speech on november four years