Since leaving the White House, Bill, now 60, has survived major heart surgery—often a powerful incentive to rethink priorities. If Hillary wins the Clintons a do-over in the White House, he'll be motivated to behave. "We have every reason to assume he has learned the function of a zipper," says Pittman. "He's a smart guy."
On the plus side, Bill Clinton would be the most charismatic spouse since Jackie Kennedy, and could help soften his wife's icy image. A poll last fall showed that his favorable rating was six points higher than hers. His political expertise will be invaluable, and he'll certainly be uniquely sensitive to the demands of the job. Her campaign strategists insist he is an asset. And in her speeches, Hillary told The New York Times, she subtly invokes their relationship by saying things like "When Bill had his heart surgery," or "Bill used to love Dunkin' Donuts." The message is clear: He may be offstage, but he's waiting in the wings.
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Barbara Kantrowitz is a senior writer for Newsweek.
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