Matthews: I think Bill Clinton wants to clear the field for Hillary in 2016

Updated

Former President Bill Clinton is expected to play a key part at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., where he will deliver an anticipated speech on why President Obama should be elected to a second term.

The Morning Joe panel discussed Clinton’s presence at the DNC, what is says about the nature of his relationship with President Obama and also what it could mean, politically speaking, for his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Will she run in 2016? Seems like that’s the question of the season.

The Washington Post’s Anne E. Kornblut wondered about this recently:

“But what of 2016? Has Clinton given up on busting though that glass ceiling, or will her ambition and influence move her to run for president once again?,” Kornblut writes.

“Hardball” host Chris Matthews speculated on Secretary Clinton’s possible 2016 run with New York Magazine’s John Heilemann, Mike Barnicle, and Steve Rattner.

“I think he wants to clear the field for Secretary Clinton for next time,” Matthews said of former President Clinton. “Part of it is destroying anybody who opposed her in any Democratic primary this spring, especially in Pennsylvania where he showed his power…so he’s doing carrot and stick. If you messed with Hillary last time around, you’re not even in the game this time…”

John Heilemann wondered about Secretary Clinton’s odds of winning if President Obama wins a second term.

“Does it help Hillary Clinton to have Obama get re-elected in 2012 or is it better for her, in some ways, in pure political terms for him to lose in 2012 and have no Joe Biden as an incumbent? You just have a clean field. What’s better for her in strictly political terms?

Matthews responded by laying out what he feels would be the ideal scenario for Secretary Clinton:

I’ll give you the ideal. You don’t want to go in against a president when there’s an economic rebound. I think there will be a rebound in the next term…Bill Clinton, I think, has to talk Hillary into running, and the way he does it is…by clearing the field for her. She’s not going to have to run against any heavyweights. Biden will probably be discouraged at some point, I think. [Maryland Governor] Martin O’Malley may go for Vice President at some point. I don’t think the [New York Governor Andrew] Cuomos travel that well…I just don’t think he wants to travel. His father was a great New Yorker, but he was never into travel…I think Clinton will teach Hillary he can clear the field for her because she’s not a great primary campaigner…If she can see the field cleared for her, with women and a lot of constituencies that really do like her…In fact, most of the party likes her overwhelmingly. If she can get this nomination, how can she turn it down? She looks great; I think this is going to be hers to lose, especially with Bill leading the way. Imagine having him as your campaign manager?

Matthews: I think Bill Clinton wants to clear the field for Hillary in 2016

Updated