Obama, Bill Clinton connect

The Democratic nominee and the last Democratic president finally talk on the phone.

Published June 30, 2008 8:38PM (EDT)

There's been a surprising amount of interest in recent days about whether, and when, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton would connect -- literally and figuratively. Last week, the former president's office issued a statement explaining that Clinton would "of course" support Obama's nomination, but its relative brevity only fueled speculation about lingering ill will.

Today, finally, the two spoke on the phone, reportedly for about 20 minutes. Afterward, the Obama campaign issued a press statement:

"Senator Obama had a terrific conversation with President Clinton and is honored to have his support in this campaign. He has always believed that Bill Clinton is one of this nation's great leaders and most brilliant minds, and looks forward to seeing him on the campaign trail and receiving his counsel in the months to come," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

This was soon followed by an official Clinton statement:

President Clinton had a very good conversation with Senator Obama today. He renewed his offer to do whatever he can to ensure Senator Obama is our next President.

President Clinton continues to be impressed by Senator Obama and the campaign he has run, and looks forward to campaigning for and with him in the months to come. The President believes that Senator Obama has been a great inspiration for millions of people around the country, and he knows that he will bring the change America needs as our next President.

I shudder to think about the extent to which these sentences will be parsed, analyzed and interpreted to find evidence of animosity.

By all appearances, these two will, if they don't already, get along just fine. And yet, the search for a feud will no doubt continue, undeterred.

By Steve Benen

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