Relations have never quite been friendly between Barack Obama and the Clintons. Neither side ever really forgave the other for the brutal 2008 Democratic primary fight, which found Obama and his cronies smearing the Clintons as racist for daring to oppose him. The Clintons, in turn, haven’t been afraid to publicly contradict Obama and his policies when politically beneficial. Now, Obama has made clear he intends to drag the hostility into the 2016 contest.
OBAMA: And she’s not gonna agree with me on– on everything. And, you know, one of the benefits of– running for president is you can stake out your own positions. You’re– and– and have– a clean slate. A fresh start. You know, when you’ve been president for six years you– you know, you’ve got some dings and– (CHUCKLE) you know and– and–
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you don’t mind absorbing a few more if that’s–
STEPHANOPOULOS: –what it takes?
OBAMA: You know, I think– I think the American people, you know, they’re gonna want– you know, that new car smell. (LAUGHTER) You know, their own– they– they wanna drive somethin’ off the lot that– that doesn’t have as– as much mileage as me.
Clinton, of course, has been around the national political scene quite a bit longer than Obama. He’s basically calling her old and yesterday’s news. Which, I mean, he’s not wrong. She’s been angling for the top office for decades, deftly using her post as First Lady to become a US Senator and then Secretary of State, always with her eyes on the White House.
The problem for Democrats is that their bench is actually quite thin. Clinton is a decently strong yet polarizing choice. Their other realistic options at this point are equally stale (who’s ready for Joe Biden?) or too controversial (Elizabeth Warren isn’t carrying Ohio in the general). So they’ll almost certainly have to make-do with the odor of a 1992 Ford Taurus.