I have never hidden my respect or admiration for former President Bill Clinton; he always was, and is the masterful politician. Taking the stage at the Democratic National Convention to address the convention crowd and the million’s watching on television. Clinton delivered as a good a defence that anyone possibly could’ve made of the Obama Presidency, there is one factor however, President Obama is no President Clinton.
President Clinton took to the stage saying, “We’re here to nominate a president, and I’ve got one in mind,” Clinton began his speech with and no, it’s not Hillary. I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside…A man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama,” he joked, as the audience gave a laughing Michelle a standing ovation.
Clinton set about attacking the Republican ticket and to serve as advocator, explainer, translator, and above all, validator in Chief of the Obama presidency. Clinton, the most popular living former president, gave a detailed point-by-point criticism of the Romney-Ryan ticket and congressional Republicans. The speech was vintage Clinton, overlong for sure, insults delivered with a folksy charming grin, references to his own time in office and his wife Hillary, all designed to improve Obama’s chances for re-election in a time of poor economic growth and 8.3 percent unemployment.
Clinton went on saying,”I like the argument for President Obama’s re-election a lot better. Here it is. He inherited a deeply damaged economy. He put a floor under the crash. He began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good, new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for innovators”.
Now, why do I believe it? I’m fixing to tell you why. I believe it because President Obama’s approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction America has to take to build a 21st-century version of the American dream, a nation of shared opportunities, shared responsibilities, shared prosperity, a shared sense of community. He accused Romney of wanting to overhaul government entitlement programs Medicare and Medicaid in a way that would reduce benefits for poor children and seniors, he said.
Responding to the most crucial election question, whether Americans are better off today than they were four years ago, when Obama was elected, Clinton said the answer was a definitive “yes.” “Are we where we want to be today? No. Is the president satisfied? Of course not,” Clinton said. “But are we better off than we were when he took office?” The crowd replied with shouts of yes. The rhetoric and oratory were fantastic and nobody could have put in such a charming, persuasive and engaging argument in support of the current incumbent.
Clinton continued claiming President Obama has spent the last four years laying the foundation for a more vibrant and balanced economy and needs four more years to see that vision through. “The most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in?” Clinton said. “If you want a you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility – a we’re-all-in-this-together society – you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”
Clinton, in full flow and wowing the Democratic crowd in the convention center finished by saying, “We’ve come through every fire a little stronger and a little better. And we do it because, in the end, we decide to champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor, the cause of forming a more perfect union. My fellow Americans, if that is what you want, if that is what you believe, you must vote and you must re-elect President Barack Obama”.
Rhetoric and oratory as brilliant as they were by Clinton; will not be enough to convince those people sitting at home without a job to vote for President Obama. They know that fine words alone, doesn’t change their plight and this election will come down to belief, confidence and trust. It is now up to President Obama and Mitt Romney to firmly convince people, they can be that person who can deliver the economic turnaround people so desperately want.
Gone is “Hope and Change,” Gone is “Yes We Can,” Gone is the sense of anticipation and belief, people had in President Obama four years ago. If this were a case for a third Clinton term, I think most Americans would jump at the prospect, and who could blame them. The reality is it is an election between a president who promised to fix the economy in his first term, and instead delivered the weakest recovery despite massive spending.
I don’t think President Obama could have asked for a better and more commanding performance by anyone in arguing the supportive case for another Obama term. However; President Clinton’s speech was perhaps all the more effective in drawing a stark comparison between the two Democratic presidents’ records, leading those watching to realise that despite Clinton’s gusto and enthusiasm in support of President Obama, it only served to point as more of a reminder of President Obama’s weaknesses, as opposed to his strengths in these most challenging times.