Exclusive: Obama- Clinton feud reignites
Behind the public face of unity, tensions are boiling and both sides are trading not-for-attribution barbs.
DENVER — As Democrats arrived here Sunday for a convention intended to promote party unity, mistrust and resentments continued to boil among top associates of presumptive nominee Barack Obama and his defeated rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
One flashpoint is the assigned speech topic for former president Bill Clinton, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday night, when the convention theme is “Securing America’s Future.” The night’s speakers will argue that Obama would be a more effective commander in chief than his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).
The former president is disappointed, associates said, because he is eager to speak about the economy and more broadly about Democratic ideas — emphasizing the contrast between the Bush years and his own record in the 1990s.
This is an especially sore point for Bill Clinton, people close to him say, because among many grievances he has about the campaign Obama waged against his wife is a belief that the candidate poor-mouthed the political and policy successes of his two terms.
Some senior Democrats close to Obama, meanwhile, made clear in not-for-attribution comments that they were equally irked at the Clinton operation. Nearly three months after Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the nomination contest, these Obama partisans complained, her team continues to act like she and Bill Clinton hold leverage.