CNN's Inside Politics panel assessed on Sunday that Bill Clinton's presence on the campaign trail indicates Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton's team is “nervous” about winning the upcoming Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.
Host John King brought up the issue to the panel, describing how “another sign team Clinton is nervous is that Bill Clinton is out on the campaign trail.”
He added that the former president is an asset to his wife's campaign but also “a potential liability in many other ways … and so he's out, which means they understand they need him. They need him to try to close the sale.”
Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has criticized Bill Clinton for his past sexual transgressions since the former president began stumping for his wife, but King also played a clip of Hillary Clinton's main rival in the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I, Vt.), calling Bill Clinton's past actions “totally disgraceful and unacceptable.”
CNN's Manu Raju said this election feels like the 2008 Democratic primary, when Barack Obama won Iowa but then Clinton took New Hampshire, allowing her to stay in the race for many months. Raj explained that the Clinton campaign should be worried if Sanders wins one of the first two states, which would put him in a strong position and “reinforce the narrative that the Democratic base is just not excited about her headed into a general [election].”
“[Hillary Clinton] has every conceivable advantage at her side, and she is struggling to fend off a 74-year-old self-avowed Socialist … in the first two states,” added Jonathan Martin of the New York Times.
He said Clinton is discussing gun issues much more aggressively now to appeal to her party's base, which strongly advocates for increased gun control.