SCRANTON, Pa. -- President Bill Clinton again defended his wife's commitment to Barack Obama's campaign with what has become his preferred point of comparison.
“She has not only done more to support him than any runner-up in the Democratic primary process in my lifetime, she has done more than all the other runners-up combined,” Clinton said here Sunday, as Hillary stood behind him.
Yet the competition -- the runners-up in the historical contest to be the most supportive runners-up -- does not quite compare to Hillary Clinton in other regards. Few runners-up for the Democratic nomination, with the possible exception of Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1980, have had the national fundraising base or broad-based appeal that would make them a valuable general-election surrogate.
Did Bill Clinton beg Jerry Brown to camparign more for him in the fall of 1992? What did Mike Dukakis want from Jesse Jackson in 1988? Was Jimmy Carter disappointed that George Wallace was not more prominent on his behalf during the 1976 general election?
Of course, there is one runner-up who did far more to support the Democratic nominee than Hillary Clinton: John Edwards, who joined John Kerry's ticket as his running mate in 2004.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.