The former president (and husband of the secretary of state) is already telling Obama how to run his re-election campaign, now he's telling the president how to govern.
Bill Clinton has become President Obama's most high-profile armchair critic.
This Sunday, Clinton offers a not-so-subtle hint about governing in his New York Times Book Review assessment of Robert Caro's latest installment of his biography of Lyndon Johnson. "This is the question every president must ask and answer," Clinton writes, referring to the matter of how an American president should use his political capital. It's a topic that Obama observers have dwelled on at length as Obama has faced a resistent Congress. The hint Clinton drops is that the president must be the mover of Congress, he notes, marveling at LBJ's ability to get legislators on his side. "If you were a partisan, he’d call on your patriotism; if a traditionalist, he’d make his proposal seem to be the Establishment choice. His flattery was minutely detailed, finely tuned and perfectly modulated. So was his bombast — whatever worked."
The advice was not lost on The New Republic's Timothy Noah "[The] review is clearly addressed to a single NYT reader," he tweeted. "The guy's initials are BHO." It also wouldn't be the first time the Silver Fox imparted his wisdom to Obama.
Earlier this month, Politico's Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin reported that Clinton was responsible for altering the Obama campaign's attack message against Mitt Romney after badgering members of the campaign. "A more effective strategy, Clinton has told anyone who would listen, would be to focus almost exclusively on Romney’s description of himself as a 'severe conservative,'" they reported, "to deny him any chance to tack back to the center, according to three Democrats close to the situation."