Good to have Bill on the campaign trail
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Back in 2007, when Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE was gearing up to run in the '08 Democratic primaries, I had the opportunity to hear her husband, former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard? Make the compromise: Ending chain migration is a small price to legalize Dreamers Assessing Trump's impeachment odds through a historic lens MORE, speak at a private reception on her behalf. 

I distinctly remember turning to my friend immediately after he finished and saying, "No one, and I mean not even Hillary herself, could give that kind of comprehensive speech about her readiness to serve."  Simply put, Bill was Hillary's most effective advocate on the campaign trail. 

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Times may have changed, but I suspect turning the former commander-in-chief loose in New Hampshire on Monday was no accident.  The first caucus and primary votes will be counted in about a month.  Hillary doesn't need to win in Iowa and the Granite State, but she can't afford to let Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE bury her either.  Her job is to continue talking about the issues she cares about, while Bill's job is to remind voters which Democrat is most qualified to be the next president of the United States.

I hope neither Clinton will be distracted by the Republican front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE.  He not only has viciously attacked Hillary, he recently has turned his long knives on Bill.  While this strategy might play well with GOP voters this winter and spring, I'm not certain it will resonate with the general electorate next fall.  Here's why:

When Bill Clinton became president, George H. W. Bush handed him the keys to the Oval Office along with a budget deficit of $290 billion.  When Clinton left office eight years later, George W. Bush inherited a budget surplus of $86.4 billion.  After paying for two wars on credit cards, the Bush economy was in free fall when Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE took office in 2009.  It's taken years, but the Obama economy is robust today. 

All of which proves, as Clinton himself often boasts, "If you want to live like a Republican, then vote Democratic."  That was true in the 1990s, and still will be true after Hillary wins the presidency later this year.

National security and economic growth are the two issues voters care most about in a general election.  Bill Clinton understands these issues better than all the current GOP presidential candidates combined.  Personally, I'm glad Bill's campaigning for Hillary now.  Despite how The Donald tries to position him today, I think the former president is going to be a huge asset for the future president come November.

Freidenrich writes from Laguna Beach, California.  He served as a congressional staff assistant on Capitol Hill in 1972.  He can be reached on Twitter @freidomreport.