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Mark Halperin: Bill, Hillary in Careful Dance on Obamacare

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 07:27 PM

The motivation for Bill Clinton's backhanded slap at President Barack Obama is unclear — and shows Hillary Clinton will need to monitor her husband's comments if she runs for president in 2016, says Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for Time magazine.

"As much as the Clintons and the Obamas have now sort of become . . . one big super political family, it's still very difficult to get inside Bill Clinton's head," Halperin told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts

"Sometimes his public comments, as he did during the 2012 campaign, are intended to kind of push and prod and cajole in a way that he might not be able to do with direct contact," Halperin said Tuesday.

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"But other times," he continued, "as much as he was a star in the 2012 campaign for the Democrats, he still can be a little rusty, he still can sometimes muse in public and in interviews in ways that can cause trouble."

Clinton's wife — the former first lady, secretary of state, and senator from New York who is the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, should she want it — has to be aware of that, Halperin says.

"You can bet that Hillary Clinton today is thinking . . . boy, where does this leave us? Where does this leave me in terms of Obamacare?" he said.

"[That's] something that she'll have to navigate, as any Democrat will that runs for president in 2016."

Halperin — co-author with John Heilemann of the new book "Double Down: Game Change 2012," an insider's guide to the 2012 presidential election says Obama and Clinton have very different styles.

"[Obama] does not like the kind of back-slapping, log-rolling kind of nitty gritty of politics, hanging out with people. The opposite of Bill Clinton. The opposite of somebody like Lyndon Johnson," Halperin said.

"And it's left him, the way he chose to run for re-election, victorious but, to some extent so far, [with] a hollow victory where he doesn't have allies on either side of the aisle in Washington."

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts

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