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Bill Clinton will get his chance in the Iowa caucuses after all.
The Democrat who skipped campaigning in the state during his own bid for the presidential nomination is stepping up his role as chief advocate for his wife, Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, her leading opponents for the Democrats' nomination subtly but persistently point out the former president's failures for which they say the New York senator shares responsibility.
"I think it's going to come down to: Do you really want Bill Clinton back in the White House?" said Donna Brazile, who ran Democrat Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.
A recent CBS/New York Times poll showed his presence in his wife's campaign to be an advantage in Iowa, although most caucusgoers say they are unaffected by it.
In the survey, taken this month, 38 percent said Bill Clinton's involvement in Hillary Clinton's campaign made them more likely to support her, compared with 55 percent who said it made no difference, and 7 percent who said it made them less likely to support her.
A woman in the audience rose to ask Mrs. Clinton about Mr. Murdoch’s ownership of multiple media outlets (Fox News, the New York Post, soon the Wall Street Journal, and various other organs), and also whether Americans would “lose out democracy” if one person is in control of the media.
And Mrs. Clinton played both sides in her answer, responding sympathetically to the woman’s concern about media consolidation, but also making clear that she wasn’t singling out “any company in particular” for condemnation.
Mrs. Clinton pledged that as president, she would appoint commissioners to the Federal Communications Commission who supported “competition in the media,” and she hailed Theodore Roosevelt as a model for his trust-busting approach to monopolistic corporate impulse.
“It’s bad for consumers because you limit choice,” Mrs. Clinton said of media consolidations, and “it’s bad for citizens because it limits the diversity we have.”
Just as this reporter began to wonder if she would side-step Mr. Murdoch altogether, Mrs. Clinton then added: “I’m not saying anything against any company in particular. I just want to see more competition, especially in the same markets.”
Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) suggested on Sunday that Fox News is biased against his campaign, charging that the network highlights commentators who have been critical of his run for the presidency.
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," host Chris Wallace pressed Thompson on how some conservatives have lambasted Thompson's campaign and showed clips of Fox conservative commentators Charles Krauthammer and Fred Barnes criticizing the former senator.
Mrs Clinton might be the frontrunner in the polls, but almost everywhere we went people questioned her candidacy. Many stated bluntly that they did not want a woman in charge. "It's a man's world," said Hugh Laflin, 62, a Kansas truck driver. "Would a Middle East sheikh talk to a lady president?"
A Vietnam veteran in Arizona and a Florida gun-shop owner were among those who made crude jokes about America "going to war every 30 days" under a female president. We never brought up Bill Clinton's sexual dalliances, but many ordinary Americans did. "She couldn't keep her own home together, so how can we trust her to manage America?" asked Micki Martinson, a housewife in Somerset, Pennsylvania.
"I think the fact of the matter is that Sen. Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn't work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it," Obama said, and added, referring to his relationship with his wife, Michelle, "There is no doubt that Bill Clinton had faith in her and consulted with her on issues, in the same way that I would consult with Michelle, if there were issues," Obama said. "On the other had, I don't think Michelle would claim that she is the best qualified person to be a United States Senator by virtue of me talking to her on occasion about the work I've done."
With this line of attack, Obama is openly calling Clinton out on one of the basic arguments of her candidacy and her career -- that her experience at Bill Clinton's side in the White House and before, make her the most qualified person in the race.
Obama continues to paint himself as the most "authentic" candidate whose real life experiences distinguish him from his democratic rivals. He claims that his experience living abroad, traveling the world, witnessing poverty and even facing racism as a black man has given him a perspective that some of America's best presidents have also possessed.