ABC News’ David Chalian Reports: No, the President of the United States has not endorsed the front-running Democratic candidate for president in 2008. But, former Presidents Bush (41) and Clinton are teaming up again and this time in the politically potent state of New Hampshire.
The University of New Hampshire announced that its commencement speakers this year will be the former presidents who have worked closely with each other in recent years on raising money and awareness for the Gulf Coast’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami in and around Indonesia. The two men are expected to address the graduates on May 19 in Durham, NH.
Presidents Bush and Clinton have appeared in public so often in the last couple of years that it caused the current President Bush to joke about it during his State of the Union address last year. "This year, the first of about 78 million baby boomers turn 60, including two of my Dad’s favorite people — me and President Clinton," said President Bush.
The more President Clinton appears in public with his political opponent from the 1992 presidential campaign, the more those images work to moderate the Clintons as a political brand which is likely helpful to Sen. Clinton as she mounts a presidential campaign in which one of her potential vulnerabilities is her perceived (and real according to many polls) polarizing nature.
Having those Bush/Clinton bipartisan images blasted across newspapers and television screens in the key first-in-the-nation primary state is no doubt a welcome development in the Clinton campaign. But why, you may wonder, would President Bush lend a helping hand to a Democrat’s presidential bid?
ABC News’ Ann Compton reports that the University of New Hampshire’s interim president, Bonnie Newman, used to work for President George H.W. Bush. She was the top West Wing staffer handling operations at the White House when the new 747 Air Force One was delivered during Mr. Bush’s term, she personally tested out the new shower at 37,000 feet before President Bush got to use it.