Bill Clinton told an Israeli television station yesterday that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton would make a better president of the United States in some ways than he did.
Mr. Clinton, who usually avoids talking about his wife as a prospective presidential candidate, said she would come to the job with more seasoning and perspective than he had as governor of Arkansas in 1992, suggesting that she would perform better.
"In some ways she would be, because of what we did together," Mr. Clinton said in an interview with Israel's Channel Two. "First, she has the Senate experience I didn't have. Second, she would have had the eight years in the White House."
"I think she wouldn't make as many mistakes because, you know, we're older and more mature, and she is far more experienced now in all the relevant ways than I was when I took office," Mr. Clinton continued. "So I think in a way she has the best of both worlds."
Senator Clinton has announced that she will run for re-election next year, but she has never commented on the persistent speculation in political circles that she may seek the presidency in 2008. Mr. Clinton has occasionally touched on the idea, as when he told CNN in June that his wife was focused on re-election but would make a "magnificent" president.
Spokesmen for the senator and the former president both said last night that Mrs. Clinton is focused on her re-election campaign.
"He was simply responding to a hypothetical question," Mr. Clinton's spokesman, Jay Carson, said, "as a proud husband who feels his very capable and talented wife would be a tremendous success in anything, as he has seen firsthand for over 30 years."