The Clintons see an opening.
As the Democratic party fails to coalesce around policy objectives, former party standard bearers Bill and Hillary Clinton have returned to political life, according to POLITICO Playbook.
The outlet reports:
Bill Clinton has relished the opportunity to whip on behalf of the White House. In addition to pressing [West Virginia Senator] Joe Manchin on the filibuster, Clinton suggested that he should salvage Build Back Better by zeroing in on the few elements the West Virginia senator really wants.
“I told Joe, ‘Break it up, pick one or two [pieces] you can swallow and then run on the rest,’” Clinton recalled of their phone call, a person with knowledge of the conversation told Playbook. The idea is drawing interest among party leadership.
Bill Clinton has also reached out to Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who, alongside Manchin, has prevented her party from passing social spending legislation and lifting the filibuster in order to bolster voting rights.
The former president reportedly quipped of Sinema, “I don’t know her, but I like her.”
POLITICO reports that Bill Clinton feels emboldened to re-establish himself as a major presence in the Democratic party because the FX show about his impeachment saga received low ratings, an indication that the country is no longer preoccupied with the more seedy details of his biography.
Meanwhile, a recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal co-authored by a former Clinton pollster raised the specter of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2024. From the piece:
She is already in an advantageous position to become the 2024 Democratic nominee. She is an experienced national figure who is younger than Mr. Biden and can offer a different approach from the disorganized and unpopular one the party is currently taking.
If Democrats lose control of Congress in 2022, Mrs. Clinton can use the party’s loss as a basis to run for president again, enabling her to claim the title of “change candidate.”
The op-ed continues:
In a recent MSNBC interview, Mrs. Clinton called on Democrats to engage in “careful thinking about what wins elections, and not just in deep-blue districts where a Democrat and a liberal Democrat, or so-called progressive Democrat, is going to win.” She also noted that party’s House majority “comes from people who win in much more difficult districts.”
Mrs. Clinton also took a veiled jab at the Biden administration and congressional Democrats in an effort to create distance: “It means nothing if we don’t have a Congress that will get things done, and we don’t have a White House that we can count on to be sane and sober and stable and productive.”
“It’s a perpetual itch that will never go away,” a person close to the couple said to POLITICO about the Clinton’s draw to public life. “They know how to slowly reenter. The Clintons want to reset the board in their favor and then move the pieces.”