Due to former President Bill Clinton’s history of sexual harassment and allegations of sexual assault against him, Democrats do not want him campaigning on their behalf in the 2018 midterm elections.
Since Democrats are seeking to embrace the #MeToo movement and rally women against President Donald Trump in the midterms, they believe the presence of Clinton on the campaign trail could prove toxic, according to Politico.
“I think it’s pretty tough,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D.-Wash., vice chair of the House Progressive Caucus and one of the leading voices in Congress demanding reforms in Washington’s approach to sexual harassment. Clinton’s presence “just brings up a lot of issues that will be very tough for Democrats. And I think we all have to be clear about what the #MeToo movement was.”
Georgia Democratic Chair DuBose Porter said, “I value the assets of what the Clintons can bring. He did a lot for Georgia when he was president. He carried Georgia. The personal side that is now being highlighted, we’ll have to measure.”
Many Democratic politicians and strategists are not as diplomatic with their assessment of Clinton’s assumed negative impact on the 2018 midterm campaigns, knowing that an appearance by Clinton would lead to accusations of hypocrisy from Republicans and pundits.
Eight years ago, Clinton made over 100 appearances in support of Democrats during the 2010 midterms and was the most in-demand person on the campaign trail.
According to a source familiar with Clinton’s plans, he has already received a number of preliminary requests from campaigns for advice and attendance at events.
“President Clinton has been diligently working on his book,” the Clinton source said, referring to the mystery novel he is coauthoring with James Patterson that is expected to be released in the spring. “He’s also been focused on the work of his foundation. So beyond a few requests for support and advice from a few candidates, he hasn’t spent much time on the midterms.”
Former Clinton strategist James Carville, who remains close with the former president, said, “People call me all the time [to ask] if I can talk to him, put [their] requests in.”
Carville said he thinks that Clinton will do some campaigning, but given Clinton’s age of 71 and other factors, “it can’t be like it used to.”
Even so, Carville contended, “There are people who want him, I promise you.”
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said in an interview earlier this year regarding the party’s strategy for the midterms, “Bill Clinton’s a former president of the United States, and in his administration, we took an economy that was in the tank and built an economic engine that had been unparalleled. Did he make significant mistakes? Of course he did,” Perez said. “People will make judgments race by race about who are the best surrogates to come down and advocate.”