Tim Russert and Chris Matthews Agree: Hillary Benefits from 'Bad Bill'

The question about whether Bill Clinton will be a hindrance or help to Hillary's campaign has been decided and the final verdict is in, Hillary "benefits" with having Bill on her side. Well at least that's what two of the top opinion-shapers at NBC News have decreed. Appearing on last night's Hardball, NBC News' Washington bureau chief Tim Russert marveled, along with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, at how Hillary Clinton will get the best of both worlds with Bill on her campaign.

According to Matthews and Russert not only will Hillary gain from the "Clinton record," but she won't be hurt by any extramarital dalliances by the former President as both claimed Hillary actually "benefits" from her "victim" status. In fact don't expect any questions to Hillary about Bill's personal life next time she appears on Meet the Press, as Russert proclaimed: "She doesn't even have to talk about it." The following conversation occurred on the May 14th edition of MSNBC's Hardball.

Chris Matthews: "How do you do it, and here's a great political question. You're looking at the advisers out there. What do you think they're smart to be doing? Al Gore cut it the wrong way. He didn't run on the Clinton record. He ran against Clinton personally and somehow ran against the Clinton record when he should have, probably, separated himself from the Clinton problem and ran on the record. Can Hillary benefit from the good Bill and not get hurt by the bad Bill, given all the way things are going right now?"

Tim Russert: "Well, in terms of the bad Bill, everyone saw her as a victim. So now she doesn't have to even talk about it."

Matthews: "She benefits both ways."

Russert: "She just says, 'Look at the record we had in our administration-'"

Matthews: "'When my husband was President.'"

Russert: '-in terms of job growth, in terms of surpluses. We can go back to those good old days.'"

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.