Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

President Clinton warns Barack Obama on the dangers of running for president ``too soon.''


In a very long New Yorker profile of President Bill Clinton- titled ``Bill Clinton's quest to save the world, reclaim his legacy-and elect his wife'' by writer David Remnick, the former president at one point muses on presidential politics--and on the prospects of Sen. Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat.

click below for excerpt where Clinton praises Obama but warns him about timing.

This comes as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the New York Democrat, is gearing up a 2008 presidential run, with her campaign to come out from behind the shadows after she wins, as expected, a second term in November.

For now, she is the only top tier 2008 Democratic White House potential candidate. If Obama got in---that changes the dynamic. In some ways, because of Obama's surging stature--Obama is Sen. Clinton's biggest possible rival.

Yes that's a lot of ifs....

Meanwhile......Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) foot-in-mouth stumbles--the latest getting defensive when asked about this mothers' Jewish heritage---which comes after he used a disparaging word to describe someone who has roots in India-- has put the Virginia senate race in play.

Wednesday night, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) stumps for the Democratic challenger, Jim Webb in Alexandria, a suburb of Washington. In the afternoon, Obama talks about “Energy Independence: A Call for Leadership,'' in a speech that is part of a series sponsored by sponsored by Obama wrote a foreword to's new book about the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

from the Remnick article......

``Later that night, Clinton invited everyone travelling with him, along with the heads of the foundation staff in Rwanda, up to his suite for dinner. At first, he talked about his meetings with some of the survivors of the genocide, but pretty quickly he seemed eager to talk about more distant subjects: wind and solar power, the frustrations with the Gore campaign in 2000 ("But he won, that's crystal clear to me"), and Barack Obama, who he thinks has the intelligence and the toughness necessary to be President but has to be careful about running too soon-"like John Edwards."

Posted by Lynn Sweet on September


I notice Bill didn't tell Barack Obama it was too early to run for Vice-President! Gore-Obama..2008!
Hillary can't turn
any red state to blue.

obviously neither did Gore in 2000! What planet are you from?

A courtesy link, since I used your blog in my own.
I'm forced to wonder, however, about the timing of Bill's comments to Obama. With Hillary slated to run (why else would Terry McAuliffe come out and say that he'll be managing her campaign otherwise), is this just Bill trying to keep the ballot clean for his wife? Or is this actually legitimate advice?

He has "all the right" stuff to turn this country around and to show the world that this country isn't filled with a bunch of "facists"! I really dont think 2008 is soon enough!

With him I can see flourishing international relations, a blooming economy and a much more enlightened and uplifted national spirit...He is just what we need....


Oh and Hilary, she just doesnt have it! She lacks in popularity with the common man, and she displays no charms of a leader...She is appropriate perhaps where she is now, but not as a head of state.


As an aging American who first voted for John Kennedy, I find myself remembering the enthusiasm I had for Kennedy each time I see Obama speak. Perhaps he can inspire the young people of today to the faith in the system that I had 45 years ago!

Zaynab your people are currently the only fascists in the world! prove me wrong.

Barack Obama is no John Edwards Mr. Clinton. This country is in real need of the kind intellegent and inspiring leadership Obama displays on a daily basis. This country faces major challenges we need a president who can lead us to a better future. I hope Mr. Obama realizes that need and takes advantage of this unique moment in time!

Hello everyone!

With regard to the prospects or likelihood of Senator Barak Obama running for the presidency.

Here is my view on this concern!

Barak Obama is a young man with great potential to serve this nation of ours. He has shown the ability to sway minds and hearts hitherto un-moveable or un-shakeable.

However, the question or concern in some quarters about his prospects for success to the White House in 2008, concerns me very much.

Personally, I feel he has as good a chance of getting there as Hillary Clinton.

And in some ways even greater, because he could relate more to the commonweal.

Derryck S. Griffith.
New York City.

The whole mention of Obama for president is free publicity hype. Hilary is gonna run in '08 with Obama at her side. Hence, he gets the experience and we get 12 years of the Dem's. Already he's distracting the press like a good running mate should... No right winger can find any dirt on the man.

As for Gore, he's an idiot. Basically, anyone who would marry Tipper has some serious issues. Enough said.

Oh, McCain is simply the Machurian Candidate embodied. He may be a top runner, but after his "programming" we'll end up eating rice and duck bills cabbage rolls. Careful, careful!

In the meantime... Bush has 2 years to run in circles while trying to piss in the corner. Well, Condi and Dick will be there to wipe his damp brow. Eejots.

Does Obama really want to hitch his star to someone like Hillery, with all her baggage?

I love both Hillary and Obama, but there are concerns with both.

She easily has the dynamism and charisma to be a head of state. Meet her personally (as I have) and you know it in a snap.

Her experience and battle testing more than qualify her.

However: the Whitewater/Monica fiascos are hard baggage to shake, especially for the dim-witted of our electorate. I mean, Iraq was already an abysmal failure in 2004, and we nearly legally reelected numbskull (remember Ohio).

Sadly, gender is a factor for the same reason as above.


Superb character, charisma; squeaky clean.

Weak on experience, compared to Clinton or McCain.

And, equally sadly as the above, he's black.

Clinton you are just wrong, a liar, when I saw you on TV a remember your lies under oarth is just ashamed.
Dixie Anderson

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 22, 2006 5:42 AM.

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