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News Tip: Can Bill Clinton Play a Supporting Role? Duke Expert Comments

News Tip: Can Bill Clinton Play a Supporting Role? Duke Expert Comments

Duke historian comments on Bill Clinton’s supporting role in his wife’s presidential campaign

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Bill Clinton hits the campaign trail today on behalf of his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Duke University historian William Chafe, author of a book about the Clintons, comments.

• Quotes:
“For decades, Hillary and Bill Clinton have been a team,” says Duke University historian William Chafe. “He never could have become president had she not 'saved' him repeatedly.”

• “But in 2008 Bill hurt Hillary with comments that were viewed as racially insensitive, such as a suggestion during a South Carolina campaign stop that Barack Obama was like Jesse Jackson.” 

• “The real question is whether Bill can discipline himself enough this time around to only highlight Hillary's strong points, and make her -- not Bill -- the focus of attention. He probably can. He seems to have turned a corner."

• Bio:

William Chafe, professor emeritus of history at Duke University, is a historian of the      U.S. specializing in civil rights, women's history, and politics. He is the author of many books including the forthcoming volume “Hillary and Bill: The Clintons and the Politics of the Personal.” He is former president of the Organization of American Historians and co-founder of both the Duke Oral History Program and the Center for Documentary Studies.

• Archive video interview:

• For additional comment, contact Chafe at:


More Information

Contact: William Chafe
Phone: (919) 681-8052

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More Information

Contact: William Chafe
Phone: (919) 681-8052