Bill Clinton made the case for President Obama's reelection at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday by noting he was so interested in teamwork and compromise that he appointed former foe Hillary Clinton to his cabinet. It's very possible Obama will be making the case for a President Hillary Clinton four years from now. "The Clintons and Obamas share mutual interests now: they're going to be helping each other, trading favors, for years," The New York Times' Jodi Kantor tweeted during Clinton's speech. The deepest of rivals in 2008, the families are like the male and female blood fluke, which hook together and remain locked in a spooning embrace as they travel through your bloodstream for decades.
One or both Clintons have spoken at every convention since 1980, and they'll probably speak at several more. It's not hard to see the Obamas on the stage along with them going forward. The Obama campaign had little control over Clinton's 2008 speech, The Washington Post's David Maraniss writes, because the campaign realized "it could not control him even if it wanted to." This year, "because Obama sought him out for the assignment, there was more implicit faith that he would come through."
Clinton's DNC speech "may also have started setting the stage for another White House bid by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton," the Associated Press' Beth Fouhy reports. ("We're not kids anymore. I don't have any idea if she'll ever run again. She says she won't," Clinton says.) If Hillary Clinton runs in 2016, as many expect her to, Obama will be the one giving speeches for her. If she wins, there will be more Clinton/Obama speeches in 2020. And there will be favors outside of party conventions. Clinton tends to show up at all kinds of pet projects for his old political friends -- maybe he could help raise money for the Obama presidential library? Clinton and Obama aren't real best friends yet, but they have what it takes for a solid political relationship that can last decades: mutual self-interest.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.