Philip Levine no longer eager to talk about his Bill Clinton bromance

In the #MeToo era Clinton is unlikely to be the sought after surrogate he used to be
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. [File Photo]
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. [File Photo]
Published March 4, 2018|Updated March 4, 2018

Multimillionaire businessman and gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine is a longtime pal of Bill Clinton.

The two travelled across the globe together since Clinton left office, and Levine was with him in Australia when the ex-president learned of the Sept. 11 attacks. When the Levine ran for part-time mayor of Miami Beach in 2013, the former president came down to Florida's 23rd largest city to campaign for his friend and starred in a TV ad. When Levine hosted the U.S. Conference of Mayors last year, the Big Dog made it back to stand with his friend again.

So can Florida expect to see Clinton campaigning for Levine in this year's gubernatorial race?

"I don't really need anybody campaigning for me. I'm campaigning for myself," Levine told The Buzz as he mingled last weekend at the Tampa Jewish Federation's annual President's Dinner. "I want the people of Florida to campaign for me."

Lucky for him, Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns and presidency preceded the #MeToo movement. Sexual misconduct and men abusing their authority is no longer tolerated in the way it was when Clinton stepped onto the national stage nearly three decades ago. Even Monica Lewinsky recently wrote in Vanity Fair that she now sees her relationship with Clinton as "a gross abuse of power."

Asked about Clinton in the context of #MeToo, Levine, 56, clearly wanted to talk about something else.

"I have lots of friends, from all walks of life, and I'm very, very proud of my friends," he said.

Is he still very, very proud of his friendship with Clinton?

"I've always been honored in the past for his support, but I think right now in this election I'm running solo," he said.

Does he think Democrats and the media gave Clinton a pass in the 1990s on his sexual misconduct allegations of rape leveled against him?

Levine politely excused himself and moved on.