RODNEY NELSON, Richland
The past several weeks have seen some Republican and conservative commentators invoke Bill Clinton's record as president against Barack Obama. All of the sudden, Clinton has become a conservative weapon. Oh my, how times have changed. This ploy will not play.
Clinton might feel a personal grudge against Obama for any number of reasons, perhaps for defeating Hillary in 2008. However, Bill Clinton is no Obama naysayer. Politically, Clinton is in Obama's court. There is no mistaking this after his pro-Obama speech at the Democratic National Convention weeks ago.
Clinton is always a Democrat first. Republicans are simply barking up the wrong tree when they directly or indirectly cite something Clinton said or intimate that his words might negatively reflect on Obama. Anything Clinton says is deliberately stated to better Clinton's position and to keep him in the public eye.
One ploy used by conservatives and Republican commentators is to say that Obama is an ideologue while Clinton is pragmatic. This is more an issue of approach than substance. Clinton had Gingrich to deal with in the mid-1990s, while Obama has no equivalent Republican to counter him in Congress.
Republicans and conservatives don't need Bill Clinton to defeat Obama. A consistent, provocative alternative candidate will do.