Diary

More Blue On Blue Warfare

Man, this speaks volumes doesn’t it?

“Obama does not like Clinton, and Clinton knows it,” asserted one longtime Clinton adviser, a refrain that several compatriots repeated almost word for word, though occasionally in stronger terms.

Whether the reverse is true, and whether it matters as much, are less clear. Clinton associates say he was embittered earlier this summer but appears to have moved past that. They noticed a change at a dinner in Las Vegas on Aug. 19 celebrating his 62nd birthday, where, as one friend put it, “he was very matter-of-fact about it all.” It appears obvious to people on both sides that Obama and Clinton are acute political animals who could bridge the divide if it became mutually beneficial for their long-term prospects. But Clinton and his friends are uncertain that Obama sees the necessity yet.

There is a history to all this, going back to the time when Clinton urged voters not to buy into the “fairy tale” of Obama’s rise, but the latest expression of unease surfaced this week in connection with the subject of Clinton’s speech. Several of his associates complained, though not for attribution, that it is a misuse of his skills and policy achievements to have him speak on national security instead of the national economy, which boomed during the eight years of his presidency. One old Clinton hand said he broached the subject with a senior Obama aide — arguing that no one could better deliver a new variation of the golden-oldie 1992 theme, it’s the economy, stupid — only to be dismissed vociferously with the exasperated phrase, “That’s so typical Clinton!”

How ’bout that party unity?