Bill Clinton finds ex-president sweet spot

By Julie Pace

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 12 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Clinton, on the other hand, is expected to campaign for Obama frequently between now and November. He's likely to return to Florida again and is also expected to campaign in Ohio, Virginia and Iowa.

Obama's team has also put Clinton, a prolific fundraiser, to work helping them close their money gap with Romney. Obama and Clinton have teamed up for two campaign fundraisers, and the former president is also helping Priorities USA Action, the struggling Obama super political action committee, raise funds.

It's also something of a turnaround for Clinton, who left office with positive approval ratings for his handling of the presidency but negative ones for his personal character.

In a January 2001 Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll, 65 percent of Americans said they approved of the way Clinton was handling "his job as president," while just 41 percent said that they approved "of Clinton as a person."

Fast-forward to the present. A Gallup poll released last week showed Clinton was viewed favorably by 69 percent of Americans, including 43 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of independents. That's his highest favorability rating in polls back to 1993.

"It's an amazing alignment of scenarios," Chris Lehane, a former Clinton White House staffer, said of his old boss' resurgence.

Clinton, of course, has his own motivations for his full-throated support of Obama's campaign. Those close to him say it's no secret he'd like to help pave the way for another presidential run for his wife.

Associated Press Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta in Washington contributed to this report.

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

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