Clinton Runs Long and Strong. In a speech that was easily the longest of the convention, former President Bill Clinton gave a history of the last four years. That history was perhaps the best case for President Obama’s re-election heard from the podium at the DNC so far.
Some commentators have already noted that some of the points Clinton made about the Obama Presidency were communicated better by Clinton than by the campaign. Like so many other convention speakers, Clinton touched on the problem of hyper-partisanship in Washington.
“When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better. After all, nobody’s right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. All of us are destined to live our lives between those two extremes. Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn’t see it that way. They think government is the enemy, and compromise is weakness,” Clinton told delegates.
Clinton often went off teleprompter and remarks e-mailed to press beforehand turned out to be more of a guide than an accurate text of what Clinton was to say. Clinton frequently spoke in the same way a college professor would speak to a class of students as his speech featured a historiography of President Obama’s turbulent three plus years in the White House.
Clinton referred to several partisan episodes as he spoke on the stymied progress President Obama’s time in office has featured.
“President Obama’s record on national security is a tribute to his strength, and judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship,” Clinton said. “He also tried to work with Congressional Republicans on Health Care, debt reduction, and jobs, but that didn’t work out so well. Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader, in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work,” Clinton told delegates.
Clinton also hit on the issue of returning to old policy that has had dubious fiscal results. He referred several times to policies under Bush I and Bush II, whose presidencies his was bookended by.
“In order to look like an acceptable alternative to President Obama, they couldn’t say much about the ideas they have offered over the last two years. You see they want to go back to the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place: to cut taxes for high income Americans even more than President Bush did,” Clinton said.
At about 11:25 p.m. in Charlotte Clinton concluded. President Obama joined him on stage shortly after he finished speaking. Tonight President Obama will make the case for his re-election in his own words.
LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus. She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 on The Earl Ingram Show as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Burke is a former employee of USAToday.com and ABC News. You can e-mail her at LVB@Politic365.com follow her on twitter @Crewof42.