Bill Clinton Campaigns For Hillary In Iowa

It's official now: former President Bill Clinton will campaign for his wife, Hillary, in Iowa, from July 2 through Independence Day.

Why now? "For starters and has been noted on the covers of more than a few magazines and newspapers, he has been working hard on behalf of her campaign for weeks but there isn't a better place to be on independence day than Iowa," says Jay Carson, Bill Clinton's spokesman.

Translated: Don't ask "why now."

Here's why I asked "why now": virtually no one expected him to campaign this early, under the assumption that Bill Clinton would do the most good for his wife's campaign if he helped to reinforce her standng with Democratic base voters late in the game. (Clinton aides told me in February that I was unlikely to see Bill Clinton on the campaign trail before the fall.)

Whatever those assumptions were, they turned out to be mistaken. For one thing, Hillary Clinton's standing with core Democratic voters is very solid. And within the past few months, she's established her own political identity.

Maybe Hillary Clinton needs a bit of an artificial, external boost in Iowa right now.

Watch for falling metaphors. Some analysts will say that Hillary Clinton decided to use a howitzer in what had heretofore been a knife fight. Or maybe she tagged her political partner much earlier in the match than expected. Her opponents compare The Bill Effect to a the a bout with the winter flu - it hurts a lot at first, but then it generally goes away, everything returns to normal, and you're immune from it for the rest of the season.