Bill Clinton says he'll help Obama

The former president's first statement on behalf of Barack Obama didn't evince much enthusiasm, though.

Published June 24, 2008 4:44PM (EDT)

Bill Clinton hasn't been heard from -- on the subject of Barack Obama, at least -- since his wife dropped out of the race for the presidency earlier this month. On Tuesday, though, a spokesman released a statement that's the first statement of support from the former president for Obama.

The spokesman, Matt McKenna, didn't have much to say, though. Just: "President Clinton is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States." There's no word yet on what that might entail, exactly, if anything.

By the way, the picture ABC News used to illustrate the Associated Press' story on the statement -- it shows Clinton and Obama, in 2007, smiling and embracing -- brings up a thought about all this. A colleague and I used to joke, before the primaries began and the campaign turned bitter, that sometimes it seemed like Bill Clinton might secretly want to campaign for Obama, who seems in many ways a man after the former president's own heart. That joke was based on images like this one, when Clinton looked so happy to be with Obama. The distance between the two men now is even more striking when you look back at that photo.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama Bill Clinton War Room