Give him credit because he's being honest--kinda, and this interview isn't that bad. He does share with McCain a general underestimation of Obama as a candidate, and maybe even, as a person. These guys are shell-shocked and locked into prism that was forged some 40 years ago. When they look at Obama they see the stereotype--another effete overly cerebral liberal. And so great is the illusion that they fall never even quite knowing what hit them, never even knowing they've been touched.  File Clinton in that department--dig his complete mis-analysis of the black vote in the primaries. He simply can't believe he lost to this skinny black kid straight out of Hyde Park. Moreover, he still doesn't believe that this dude will topple the war-hero John McCain.

I know this can be infuriating to use lefty Obama supporters. Certainly I've done my share of raging. But then today it hit me: In the context of this campaign, and with all due respect to a former president, why do I give a fuck about Bill Clinton? All of us who've seriously followed and supported Obama understand that his greatest strength is not that the American people don't get him--but that dispensers of the conventional wisdom don't get him. These are the same people who confuse media trickery and false outrage with the hard work of voter turnout. We know that Obama isn't a doe in the woods, but a boa quietly and brutally constricting the life out of the opposing campaign. Excepting a strong speech at the convention, what has Bill Clinton been during this campaign but a sideshow? What did he do for his wife in South Carolina? In Virginia? In Wisconsin? Why do we think his homilies toward McCain will do that campaign (which is hauntingly similar to Hillary's) any good?  Seriously, who is this guy and why do we need him? We keep asking why he isn't backing us harder. But the greater question is why do we care?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.