Bill Clinton Attempts Second Fiddle, Again

By Gorman Gorman

May 27, 2009 4:42pm

ABC News’ Elizabeth Gorman Reports:

Bill Clinton loves shopping for all women, and sometimes loses track of his wife Hillary completely, according to an upcoming profile of the former president in the upcoming issue of The New York Times Magazine.

"The only bad thing about Hillary’s being secretary of state is I can’t always get hold of her," he says. (Her mobile phone apparently doesn’t get reception inside the State Department fortress.)

The Times’ Peter Baker interviews Clinton about his life after the White House and the 2008 campaign trail, while married to a woman fully entrenched in the administration.

When they’re not on airplanes respectively, the couple sees each other about once a week at their home in Chappaqua, but usually Secretary Clinton has time only to rest.

The story also gives readers a peek into how Clinton spends his downtime finishing crossword puzzles and playing "Oh, Hell," a card game that Steven Spielberg taught him.

This Clinton, seemingly a bit more humble now, is busy defining his role outside the Obama administration. After he left office, friends said they worried about Clinton, who appeared a bit lost before getting fully engaged in his foundation work.

Baker reports that at the start of the Obama administration, Clinton was still smarting a bit from the 2008 campaign experience. "He never felt a part of the campaign . . .  She was keeping him distant," one Hillary Clinton adviser told the Times.

And as for those controversial remarks he made on race during the South Carolina primary?  Clinton attempts to brush off the interpretation of his remarks as pure politics.

"None of them ever really took seriously the race rap," Clinton tells the Times. "They knew it was politics," he says. Clinton tells about a minister who he met in Texas, during the general election. The minister supported Obama. "And he came up, threw his arm around me and said, ‘You’ve got to forgive us for that race deal.’ He said, ‘That was out of line.’ But he said, ‘You know, we wanted to win real bad.’ And I said, ‘I got no problem with that.’"

While Clinton allies say he has gotten over his resentment of Obama, the former president is still none too pleased with Sen. Ted and Caroline Kennedy and Gov. Bill Richardson’s endorsements of then-Sen. Obama, according to the Times’ story.

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