Obama reaches out to defiant Bill Clinton

Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, took the first step Monday  towards trying to bridge the sea of animosity that surrounds former President Bill Clinton but party insiders say Clinton is still seething over his wife’s loss and wants Obama to beg for his support.

One published report quotes the former President as saying Obama must "kiss my ass" to gain his support and angry Democratic party officials admit privately that Clinton is "making an ass of himself" with his attitude.

"There’s no other way to put it…Bill Clinton is being a real asshole over this," says one Democratic party official who — for obvious reasons — asked not to be identified. "He’s acting like a spoiled, bratty kid."

Reports Nedra Pickler of The Associated Press:

Barack Obama and Bill Clinton ended their mutual silent treatment Monday, with the Democratic presidential candidate reaching out and asking his former Democratic nemesis to help him win the White House.

In their first conversation since the end of the heated primary, former President Clinton agreed to campaign for the candidate he portrayed as inexperienced for a presidential run. Obama had said Bill Clinton’s harsh criticisms led him to wonder which Clinton he was running against sometimes.

The 20-minute conversation was the latest step in bringing together the two warring camps. While Hillary Rodham Clinton has been publicly behind Obama, hard feelings remained between the former Democratic president and the candidate hoping to become the next one.

They hadn’t spoken until Obama called Monday after landing in Missouri for a campaign stop. Both sides later issued statements about the conversation, an important public display of how Obama needs to have both Clintons on board moving into the general election.

Bill Clinton is still popular with voters even if his stock went down, especially among blacks, after his angry outbursts against Obama during the primary. But Obama could use the former president to help win over voters, especially the working-class whites who fondly remember better economic times under the Clinton administration and who overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton during the primaries.