Which Clinton Is Running For President?

generic white house bill hillary clinton election barack obama CBS/AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

For most of a week now, the headlines from the South Carolina democratic primary have not been about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

No; the person at the center of the political universe is Bill Clinton. The former president has unleashed himself in a way that is at once brilliant and aggravating. In other words, it's just Bill being Bill.

Still widely popular, the president campaigns for his wife just as a dutiful spouse should. He has the advantages of being a former president who happens to be one of -- if not the -- most gifted natural politicians of our time. All that sincerity, all that down home-y stuff masks what is brewing inside…A ruthless competitor who fears nothing.

Al Gore made a big mistake by not using his former running mate. Hillary is smarter: let Bill drive Barack Obama nuts in South Carolina while she campaigns elsewhere in preparation for Super Tuesday. Obama said it best in Monday night's debate: he didn't quite know which Clinton he was running against.

The answer is…both.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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