MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa – Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday that if she is elected president, she would make her husband a roving ambassador to the world, using his skills to repair the nation’s tattered image abroad.
“I can’t think of a better cheerleader for America than Bill Clinton, can you?” the Democratic senator from New York asked a crowd jammed into a junior high school gymnasium. “He has said he would do anything I asked him to do. I would put him to work.”
Clinton spoke at a town hall-style meeting Saturday where she took questions from about 200 people. When asked what role the former president would play in her administration, she left no doubt it would be an important one.
“I’m very lucky that my husband has been so experienced in all of these areas,” said Clinton, who pointed to the diplomatic assignments her husband has carried out since leaving office, such as raising money for tsunami victims.
Although former president Clinton was impeached after an affair with a White House intern, he remains a popular figure in much of the world and is considered an effective diplomat. He remained in office after the Senate failed to convict him.
That’s precisely what America needs in the wake of a war in Iraq that’s left America isolated and hated throughout much of the world, Hillary Clinton said.
“I believe in using former presidents, particularly what my husband has done, to really get people around the world feeling better about our country,” she said. “We’re going to need that. Right now they’re rooting against us and they need to root for us.”
The former president can also be a political asset to his wife’s campaign. While his image with the electorate is mixed, he remains immensely popular among Democrats.
When it was announced last year that he would be the main speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party’s largest annual fundraiser, the event sold out overnight.
On Saturday, Hillary Clinton chatted with activists in Marshalltown and mingled at a coffee shop in Newton before raising money for Rep. Leonard Boswell.