Clinton star power shows itself in Kentucky

Who’s the biggest political star in the Democratic Party?

Hint: It ain’t the guy who occupies the White House.

It’s the guy who served two presidencies prior to Barack Obama’s arrival in January 2009.

William Jefferson Clinton packed ’em in at a fundraiser this week in Louisville, Ky., on behalf of Allison Lundergan Grimes, who’s running for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Republican Mitch McConnell.

The 42nd president raised $700,000 for Grimes’s campaign. He bowled over the audience in a state that voted against Obama twice in 2008 and 2012, but which Clinton won in 1992 and 1996.

This shouldn’t be a big surprise. Bill Clinton brought his towering presence to an even more anti-Democrat region back in 2008.

He came to Amarillo that year to campaign for his wife, the then-U.S. senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was locked in a tough primary campaign against then-Sen. Obama.

How did Bill Clinton fare when he showed up at the Grand Plaza Ballroom at the Amarillo Civic Center? He filled the place. It was an overflow crowd that, interestingly, included a lot of leading local Republicans who showed up just to hear Clinton’s remarks on behalf of his wife.

Make no mistake about what that 2008 appearance said about the former president’s magnetism. It’s real and can become a decisive asset for whoever the Democrats nominate as their presidential candidate in 2016.

Any bets that Democrats are going to nominate someone other than Hillary?