Back when Teddy Kennedy decided to endorse Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in January 2008, the New York Times reported that part of his decision had to do with an argument Kennedy had on the telephone with former President Bill Clinton:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, rejecting entreaties from the Clintons and their supporters, is set to endorse Senator Barack Obama’s presidential bid on Monday as part of an effort to lend Kennedy charisma and connections before the 22-state Feb. 5 showdown for the Democratic nomination.
Both the Clintons and their allies had pressed Mr. Kennedy for weeks to remain neutral in the Democratic race, but Mr. Kennedy had become increasingly disenchanted with the tone of the Clinton campaign, aides said. He and former President Bill Clinton had a heated telephone exchange earlier this month over what Mr. Kennedy considered misleading statements by Mr. Clinton about Mr. Obama, as well as his injection of race into the campaign.
Mr. Kennedy called Mr. Clinton Sunday to tell him of his decision.
Ryan Lizza. reporting in The New Yorker, may have more details about what caused the problem between Clinton and Kennedy.
At a press conference in South Carolina the morning after Obama won the state, Bill Clinton seemed to dismiss the victory as a fluke of local demography. “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ’84 and ’88,” he said. “Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here.” Tim Russert told me that, according to his sources, Bill Clinton, in an effort to secure an endorsement for Hillary from Ted Kennedy, said to Kennedy, “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.” Clinton’s role in the campaign rattled Obama. He told ABC News in an interview that Clinton “has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling.”
We don’t need to reopen old wounds on the eve of our convention. I’m just saying, I told you so.