No One Wants to Campaign With Bill Clinton Anymore


When a Republican state legislator in Arkansas pushed last year to rename the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Clarke Tucker stood up for the former president.

“The argument was that the people of Arkansas don’t support the Clintons,” said Mr. Tucker, a Democratic member of the state House of Representatives. “My thought at the time was, well, the people of Arkansas voted for Clinton eight times.”

But now, as the Democratic nominee in the tightest congressional race in this state, Mr. Tucker is happy for the former president and his wife to remain a plane ride away. Mr. Clinton, who was governor and attorney general of Arkansas, was once a near-ubiquitous presence helping Democrats in tough races back home, but the former president hasn’t been asked to appear on the trail for Mr. Tucker.

There are no plans for him to do so. Or, for that matter, appear publicly with any Democrat running in the midterm elections.

“Every election is about the future,” Mr. Tucker said, as he drove to a campaign fund-raiser in Little Rock.

As Democrats search for their identity in the Trump era, one aspect has become strikingly clear: Mr. Clinton is not part of it. Just days before the midterm elections, Mr. Clinton finds himself in a kind of political purgatory, unable to overcome past personal and policy choices now considered anathema within the rising liberal wing of his party.

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