Doyle McManus: President Obama needs Bill Clinton for credibility

By Doyle McManus

Los Angeles Times

Published: Sunday, Sept. 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

There were substantive differences between Obama and Clinton in 2008, and some of them persist. They pop into the open once in a while, whenever Clinton feels strongly enough to deliver a public dissent. He did it in May, when he criticized the Obama campaign for attacking Mitt Romney's record as a businessman, and again in June, when he called for extending current tax rates instead of raising taxes on the wealthy.

But those distinctions didn't surface Wednesday night. For Clinton, he gets to be kingmaker, the man who might make a struggling candidate electable. For voters old enough to remember the Clinton administration, it was a moment of nostalgia; for those too young (voters under 34 never saw Bill Clinton's name on a ballot), a chance to see what they missed.

Doyle McManus is a columnist for The Los Angeles Times. Readers may send him email at

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