Many have speculated what role would be filled by former President Bill Clinton if his wife were to win the Presidency in 2016. Hearkening back to the economic growth of the 1990s, Hillary stated that Bill Clinton would be in charge of, as she put it, “revitalizing the economy.” We don’t know in what official capacity he would serve, but the move indicates that Hillary’s campaign must see Bill Clinton as an asset to tout in her potential administration.
Report from The Hill:
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is beginning to hint at what role her husband, former President Bill Clinton, could have in her administration if elected president.
At a campaign stop in Fort Mitchell, Ky., Clinton said her husband would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy.”
Clinton often boasts about her husbands economic record on the campaign trail, leaning heavily on his record of raising wages and creating jobs.
“The economy does better when you have a Democrat in the White House,” Clinton said at the Oct. 13 debate.
Clinton said something similar at a campaign event in early May, saying she would bring him out of retirement to create jobs.
“He’s got more ideas a minute than anybody I know,” Clinton said. “Gotta put people back to work and make it happen. So we’re going to give it all we’ve got, absolute full-in 100 percent effort, because I worry we won’t recognize our country if we don’t do this.”
Other media outlets have walked the ball a little further, referring to Bill Clinton as an “economy czar,” from CNN:
In the spring of 2000, Clinton’s final year in office, a greater percentage of Americans had jobs than any time since records started being kept soon after World War II.
Giving Clinton’s policies full credit for boosting the economy isn’t entirely fair. The rapid growth of the Internet during his eight years in office greatly increased business productivity and profits and helped to fuel the hiring boom. There was also a bubble in Internet stocks, which poured money into the tech sector and helped to spur hiring.
But government policies did help as well. The federal government actually ran surpluses rather than deficits during Clinton’s final three years in office, and that reduced the need for government borrowing and helped to keep interest rates relatively low.
There is also credit due to the Republican Congress after 1994 which worked with Clinton to craft budgets that cut spending and balanced the budget. More than giving credit to one side, many point to the 90s as an example when both parties worked together, making compromises, and created policies which were good for the country.
The fact that Hillary is actively bringing her husband into the campaign is a glimpse into what could be perceived as a weakened position heading into the general election. Then again, if you have a popular former President at your disposal, why not use him? In 2008, Bill Clinton took the role of “attack dog” against the Obama campaign. In 2016, perhaps he’ll fill a similar role against the Presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump.
However, for any of this to matter, Hillary will first have to finish out the primary and actually become the Democratic nominee, so maybe Bill should set his sights on Bernie Sanders.