(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. —Rep. Steven Rothman isn’t losing sleep over President Bill Clinton and the possibility that he might endorse Rep. Bill Pascrell in the contentious Democratic primary.
It has been widely noted that the 2008 Democratic presidential primary has come back to haunt several House candidates who backed now-President Barack Obama over then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, as did Rothman. The former president, in some cases to devastating effect, has waded into redistricting-generated Member-vs.-Member Democratic primaries on behalf of the individual who backed his wife for president in 2008.
But Rothman, now embroiled in a bitter primary with 2008 Clinton-backer Pascrell, points to a loyalty to the former president that goes back a decade before 2008, when his political survival was on the line. Rothman emphasized his “very strong defense of him when I was on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings” in explaining why he doesn’t fear Clinton or expect him to get involved in this race.