Former President Bill Clinton made his debut solo appearance in New Hampshire Monday on behalf of the 2016 presidential campaign of his wife, Hillary Clinton — a lot grayer, a bit trimmer and far more subdued than nearly a quarter century ago when he rescued his flagging 1992 campaign in this key early voting state.
While Bill Clinton was keen to keep the focus on Hillary Clinton’s key campaign platforms, the passing time hasn’t shielded him from the ghosts that haunted his own presidency.
Both Clintons aimed for higher ground, even on policy. Asked in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about Trump’s remark that Hillary Clinton helped create the Islamic State group, she replied:
“I’ve adopted a New Year’s resolution. I’m going to let him live in his alternative reality and I’m not going to respond.”
In Manchester, N.H., meanwhile, Bill Clinton mingled with a lunchtime crowd at a popular eatery while a news station above his head ran captioned video questioning whether he could avoid Trump’s flagrant attacks — and that’s just what he did.
“They have to choose a nominee and we have a primary to win,” he said when asked about Trump and the broader Republican field. “One of my many rules in politics is don’t look past the next election.”
In a wide-ranging address that took voters through Hillary Clinton’s work as a young lawyer in Arkansas, the political achievements of President Barack Obama and the failings of America’s 14th president, Franklin Pierce, Bill Clinton argued that the Democratic front-runner offers the best plan to restore “broadly shared prosperity.”
The event marked the former president’s debut solo appearance for his wife’s campaign, part of a broader strategy to boost the Democratic front-runner’s campaign in the run-up to early voting next month.