Bill Clinton still showing election muscle

June 13, 2010 at 6:50 PM
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NEW YORK, June 13 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton shows he still has political muscle as he aids Democrats in rough campaign battles, observers say.

Clinton demonstrated his presence is still a force by almost single-handedly saving U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas last week against an insurgent primary challenger, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

Clinton will next head to Nevada to head a campaign rally for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is facing a hard battle for re-election, the newspaper said.

"The guy has definitely still got a magic touch," U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., said of Clinton.

"About the only thing they haven't asked him to do is don a wet suit, put a knife in his mouth and dive into the ocean to plug that oil spill," Weiner said.

Lincoln, a longtime friend of the former president, who also hales from Arkansas, had been hit hard by anti-incumbent anger and was so far behind Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter that supporters at the White House had all but given up on her, analysts say.

"Bill Clinton went in there, he got people to calm down and think about all the things Blanche Lincoln had done for them," Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant and one-time Clinton White House aide, said. "He is able to relate to regular people better than anyone, and pulled it out."

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