DALE CITY, Virginia — It’s no secret that the post-presidential years have been exceedingly kind to Bill Clinton. The man who left the White House in a cloud of scandal, his party so divided that many rushed into the arms of Ralph Nader, is now so beloved that Republicans running for president invoke his example. At the Democratic convention, meanwhile, he threatens to overshadow the nominee. Women want him, men want to be him, as the saying goes; and pretty much everyone in politics wants whatever it is that he has.
This week, Clinton is on the campaign trail for his old buddy, Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat who is likely to be elected the next governor of Virginia next week. Yes, if you're just now Rip Van Winkling in from the 1990s, that last sentence was not a joke. Clinton campaigning for his former top fundraiser has been rightly portrayed as yet another chit called in by a man who’s made a career of chit-seeking and -cashing. But it’s also a striking reminder of the extent to which Clintonism, in all its triangulating glory, has been redeemed.
“Here’s what I know from 12 years as governor and eight years as president—eight years that worked out pretty well for us,” Clinton told a few hundred supporters who had gathered to hear him stump for McAuliffe at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall here on Sunday, the first stop in an intensive four-day tour that would take him to virtually every corner of this large and diverse state.