Bill Clinton’s Convention Speech

Posted by Katherine | August 29, 2008 – 11:36 pm
Bill Clinton speaking at convention
[leh4 / Flickr]

Catching up now on Day 3 of the Democratic convention. Bill Clinton’s speech was generally declared a big boost for Obama — so here are some qualified assessments of its effectiveness.

Kaylin, married 29 years and from New Jersey, seems to think Bill would have been more believable if he hadn’t gone overboard:

Now I understand why Chelsea Clinton believes her mother would be a better president than her father. President Clinton gave a great speech last night. Hillary’s was more honest. She refused to say what Bill–in his deep and sincere desire to be cleansed of a racist label he never deserved–loudly proclaimed: that Barack Obama is ready to be president.

Andrew Ian Dodge, who splits his time between London and Maine, consulting and being a lyricist/frontman for a band, didn’t buy Clinton’s endorsement of Obama’s experience either:

I find it interesting he has so drastically changed his tune in regards to Barack Obama’s qualifications to sit in the Oval Office. Tonight he praised him to high heaven. Only a few months ago he was slamming him for being so inexperienced.

Bill Clinton did bring up the Republicans claims during the 1992 campaign that Clinton was too inexperienced and too young to be President. Obviously Clinton was not. But Clinton was the governor of Arkansas, the type of office that does give the kind of experience one needs to become President.

Barack Obama has none of that kind of experience. Not one bit.

Thrill, a “lifelong conservative Republican” in Missouri, thinks it’s “quite an accomplishment” that Clinton “actually managed to not spend the entire thing talking about himself.” He then points out that Bill praises McCain’s service and never makes the McBush argument.

[T]here is something about that […] that makes me wonder if he wasn’t trying to portray McCain as somewhat acceptable? You can tell me if I’m reading too much into it, but I regard the Clinton’s as Machiavellians of the highest order–and I don’t write that with disrespect–and learned a long time ago to pay attention to what they say and don’t say. McCain victory: bad for the Democrats, good for the Clintons. Remember that.

On the other hand, I think it was an excellent speech. Clinton came across as truly Presidential. […] Frankly, I always found his speeches to be enjoyable, even though I couldn’t believe a word he was saying. […] Best of all, his speech was much shorter than his wife’s.

And here’s Junichi Semitsu (of the Gustav commentary) again. He takes up the general perception that Bill gave Obama a “strong push”:

Undoubtedly, the words were all supportive.

But while watching the speech, I never got the vibe that Bill Clinton has purged himself of the bitterness brooding since Hillary was denied the coronation. Bubba clearly loves Hillary, loves Joe Biden, and loves himself, but merely supports Obama because he’s the best of the available choices.

Most of his speech could have been said about any other Democrat.

When CNN reported that Bill Clinton wouldn’t attend Obama’s speech at the stadium, the blogosphere definitely chewed it over, but I’m too tired to go look.


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