The Bill Factor

It's finally out in the open. Bill Clinton will be running a presidential campaign again, this time for his wife. Who thought this was just about her? Who believed his liabilities outweighed his power?

The New York Times took a look at The Bill Factor and learned he is playing more than a supportive role already; plans envision him — a la vice presidential, ticket-sharing other candidate — on his own campaign plane, barnstorming through the battlegrounds, trailed by his own breathless press pack.

Hillary ain't no dummy. Seeing how a missed opportunity to tap her husband doomed Al Gore from winning enough votes to avoid the Supreme Court, she has decided not to keep the magic potion sitting dusty on a shelf. And for Bill, whom most speculate had enough past and current personal problems to be forced into hiding, he must have cleaned his closets. Make no mistake, he is already corralling fundraisers, prepping Hillary, and wondering how not to overshadow her. "He's grappling with it now, how he properly plays the role of subordinate," said a former senior aide to Bill Clinton.

Part of his master strategy is getting his wife to win states like Arkansas and Kentucky that he won but Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) lost in 2004. It's ambitious but not impossible. For new-kid-on-the-block Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), trying to beat two Clintons is more than ambitious, and may be impossible.