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Bill Clinton electrifies DNC with defence of President Barack Obama

Hatchet, consider yourself buried: A moment to remember at DNC


 

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP photo)

Bill Clinton delivered the most electrifying presentation of either convention so far—and the most full-throated, clear and detailed defence of Barack Obama’s policies that anyone, including the president himself, has ever made.

Hatchet, consider yourself buried. Obama came out on stage and embraced the former president to ecstatic cheers. It will be a moment to remember the next time a political party has a bitter, grinding, primary fight that leaves pundits asking: Can this party ever unite again behind eventual nominee?

Clinton delivered a sprawling speech that veered from the prepared text and steamrolled over time limits – but the rapt audience clung to every word. No one has held a convention audience so spellbound since, well, Barack Obama in 2008.

Clinton leveraged his reputation as a centrist Democrat to pitch directly at independent voters turned off by gridlock in Washington. He touted Obama as a president who tried to work with Republicans on health care, debt reduction, and a jobs plan – but was stymied by their decision to make his defeat their top priority.

“One of the main reasons to re-elect Barack Obama is he’s still committed to constructive co-operation,” declared Clinton. “Heck, he even appointed Hillary.”

And he defended Obama’s economic policies—and dismantled Republican attacks—with the wonkish sophistication mixed with the accessible country-boy-from-Arkansas explication that was quintessential Clinton. A key line of his defence was this declaration:

“President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No one could have fully repaired all the damage he found in just four years.”

Clinton mocked the Republican speeches in Tampa as “this alternative universe,” summarizing their pitch to voters this way:

“We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him, and put us back in.”

And he described Obama as “cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside.”

Even as he talked late into the night, about everything from Medicare financing to the structure of student loan relief, he left the audience wanting more.

Even the Romney campaign’s response was an homage to the former president:

“From 20 million new jobs to historic welfare reforms, President Clinton has a record President Obama simply can’t match. Americans deserve a president willing to run on his own accomplishments, and not the record of a predecessor,” said Amanda Henneberg, a Romney spokeswoman.


 
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Bill Clinton electrifies DNC with defence of President Barack Obama

  1. I have to give the man credit. Terrific speech, even if most of it was probably untrue. Despite his past…um…indiscretions…just for a while, Clinton reminded me of the leadership the Democrats used to have, and what the Democrats used to be before being hijacked by the current bunch of jackasses running things today.

    Obama and (especially) Biden are probably a bit afraid of having to follow that performance.

    • Bloomberg fact checked and said it was correct.

      PS The Repubs have been a mess since Eisenhower.

      • Bloomberg did eh? That’s about as surprising as Breitbart’s site fact checking him and finding a zillion lies.

        • Oh cut it out….Bloomberg isn’t ‘leftie’

          And you know as well as I do, fact checkers would have trashed it if they could.

          • In 2012 America, to Republicans, MITT ROMNEY is a lefty. I think they’re essentially holding their noses and voting for Romney, but only because Romeny has essentially disavowed everything he ever did before he began running for the 2012 Presidential election.

          • Well that’s true….sad to see the GOP turn into such a Flake Fest.

  2. “We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him, and put us back in.”

    lol…That!! … Was a great line, no matter how you dice it.

    “He touted Obama as a president who tried to work with Republicans on health care, debt reduction, and a jobs plan – but was stymied by their decision to make his defeat their top priority.
    “One of the main reasons to re-elect Barack Obama is he’s still committed to constructive co-operation,” declared Clinton. “Heck, he even appointed Hillary.”

    A someone who only follows US politics from the periphery i’d say that’s exactly how i feel about it. The Republicans set out to get him as a matter of principle. Obama may not go down as a particularly effective President but why the hell should you replace him with a party that is willing to go to any length, say anything just because they made up their minds to hate him from the get go?

  3. With as dismal a mess as Obama has left our country in and with as ineffective a presidency no wonder the Dems spend so much time preaching FEAR of Romney. No proof and no consideration of Romney’s proven record of success, something the president doesn’t have, so Romney has to be demonized in order to make Obama appear palatable. I don’t care how bad a mess he had when he took over he’s made it worse in every way. Much higher fuel cost, a national debt far in excess of what Bush saddled us with in fact Obama has spent far more than Bush ever spent yet when Obama campaigned in 2008 he said Bush was unpatriotic because of the amount he spent so what’s Obama? Obama has saddled us with the greatest middle class tax hike of any president before with the healthcare bill a bill that even today most don’t know the negatives that come with it. A bill that was shoved through deemed to be passed because they were afraid to vote so ram it through and you have to pass it to know what’s in it. Great words from the most transparent administration. What gullibility it takes to believe half of what the Democrats and Clinton have been saying.

    And in NO WAY is the country better off today then four years ago, that is the biggest lie. I stand corrected … Obama deserves re-election is the biggest lie.

    • bin Laden is dead, and GM is alive….

    • Gary – wish you had a blog at MacLeans. They are out of touch with the principles that underpin the philosophy of the right. They repeat bits of the speech without much context. I can do that too.
      Government plays a huge role in the economy. They need to understand economics more though because who wants to be a business owner? Work for th goverment with big pensions.

    • No proof and no consideration of Romney’s proven record of success.

      Well, it would be pretty rude to focus on Romney’s “proven record of success” given that Mitt Romney himself has disavowed 90% of it. That said, I do applaud your use of irony in touting Mitt Romney’s record right before attacking the President for enacting Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan. That’s Paul Ryan level spin right there. It’s right up there with Ryan voting against Simpson-Bowles and then attacking the President for insufficiently supporting Simpson-Bolwes, or Paul Ryan suggesting $700 million in medicare cuts in his budget and then attacking the President for wanting to “destroy medicare” with $700 million in medicare cuts.

  4. Republicans are so power hungry & desperate to take back white house they can’t tolerate to see President Obama there for one more day. They tried their best to fail him by obstructing every time. They were intentionally doing this but they failed badly. Ann
    Romeny talked meaninglessly while Michelle Obama was reasonable & perfect. Michelle is so intelligent while Ann Romney has no knowledge about things. She is just rich & desperate to take white house back as if it was her personal property. Shame Ann /Romney!! These are just born rich they don’t & can never understand poor people’s problem because they have never experienced it. While Obama has risen from middle class by hard work. They know very well hard ships of little or no money. Republicans will surely suck life out of already ruined(by Bush)America. Vote for Obama!!!!

    New definition now is “Republicans, Romney Ryan= Racists, Rich Ruthless Rude”

  5. “President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No
    one could have fully repaired all the damage he found in just four
    years.”

    2008: Yes we can!
    2012: No, we couldn’t possibly have!

    • LOL

      Or (more seriously),
      2008: Yes we can!

      2012: Wow, who would have thought that the entire Republican establishment would do everything in their power to stop us from doing anything, from DAY 1!?!?!

      Sadly, I fear that the Democrats might just learn from this experience that compromise is weakness in the eyes of the Republicans, so why even THINK about bipartisanship? Dems must be going NUTS over healthcare in particular. Obama compromises and essentially enacts MITT ROMNEY’s healthcare plan, and now MITT ROMNEY is attacking it as a socialist scheme to destroy the country. The President suggests the same medicare cuts as Paul Ryan suggested, and Paul Ryan uses said proposed cuts to accuse the President of wanting to destroy medicare. Paul Ryan votes against Simpson-Bowles and then Paul Ryan attacks the President for not aggressively moving forward with the brilliant Simpson-Bowles plan. Republican governors call on the President to give the states more flexibility in to how they handle welfare at the state level, the President gives it to them, and then Republicans start attacking him for personally removing work requirements from the welfare program despite the fact that A) he didn’t do that, B) the added flexibility he did give to Governors had BIPARTISAN support and C) no one (even at the state level) has used said flexibility to remove work requirements from welfare eligibility.
      If the President wants bipartisan support, I think his best bet is to start campaigning for Mitt Romney, as the entire Republican agenda seems to be primarily “We want to do the opposite of what Obama wants to do, even if Obama wants to do the things we’ve already done ourselves, or used to say we planned to do ourselves until he compromised and said that he wanted it too”.

      • Dude…you do realize that for Jan 2009-Jan 2011, the Dems controlled Congress, the Senate, AND the White House right?

        You do realize what the vote counts have been for Obama’s budgets, don’t you?

        May 2011 – 0 votes for, 97 votes against (Senate)
        March 2012 – 0 votes for, 414 votes against (Congress)
        May 2012 – 0 votes for, 99 votes against (Senate)

        If that’s not enough for you, read Bob Woodward’s account of how Obama handled the debt crisis.

        Yeah, of course it was the fault of those nasty Republicans…for not being able to bend over far enough to grab both ankles.

        • Actually, due to the chronic and ultimately fatal illnesses of Kennedy and
          Byrd he actually had 60 in the Dem caucus for about 4 months. And
          two of those were the stalwart Lieberman and Ben Nelson.
          Otherwise he wouldn’t have been doing the romancin’ two-step with
          the the Ladies from Maine.

  6. Your poll on the side bar on how much are you following US politics is poor. I am watching and reading, but not CNN, which is a mouth piece for the Dems. Everyone knows about Ted Turner and his politics. Read Jane Fonda’s book about her marriage to Ted. Your poll seems to be biased towards CNN. Odd.
    The number of articles pro left and none pro the right seems unbalanced but I notice not very many comments made either.
    MacLeans is now also a left magazine. What happened?As for Bill, he could speak about anything and make it interesting.

  7. I love you even more Mr. Clinton. What a clever man! Wake up amère Rica if you don’t want to be too bitter

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