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Obama needs Clinton support even as he can’t script him
Fundraising » Ex-president’s comments on Romney record as a private-equity executive were not critical enough.

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Obama will be aligned with a president who served during a time of economic growth and has a gift for communicating with voters, particularly women, independents, and working-class voters.

Clinton regains a central political role and his efforts could benefit his wife if she decides to seek office in the future.

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It should also put behind charges by Obama and Clinton allies in 2008 that the former president injected race into the Democratic primary battle by comparing the president’s South Carolina win to Jesse Jackson’s victories there in 1984 and 1988. Clinton, who was dubbed America’s first black president by author Toni Morrison, still resents that accusation.

That lingering angst is one reason it’s taken years to build a bridge between 44th and 42nd presidents.

Republicans, knowing the value of Clinton and his broad appeal, are looking for any opportunity to puncture holes in the alliance. Romney last month said Obama should take an example from Clinton and strive toward greater bipartisanship.

"Maybe it was a personal beef with Clintons," he said, alluding to the complicated relationship that’s played out in the public stage.

After hearing Romney’s comments that day, Clinton told associates that when it comes to Obama, he’s "all in."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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