Thursday, September 6, 2012
Double Down on Trickle Down
The GOP will “double down on trickle down,” is just one of the many things that Bill Clinton said in making his case to reelect President Obama. Bill Clinton had to assure the independents that it was OK to re-elect President Barack Obama, and he didn't disappoint.
The coordinators of last night's Democratic National Convention allotted, Bill Clinton 24 minutes to speak, but they had to know that the former president would double that. Bill Clinton is one of the world's best politicians who probably knew he could gain a larger audience by speaking longer where he would capture the people who flipped on the TV to watch their local news. Lawrence O'Donnell reported that the teleprompter operator gave up In the middle of Bill Clinton's speech because the former president did not follow the script. He ad-libbed 40% of time.
The president gave a centrist speech and stayed away from the social issues such as gay marriage, abortion and illegal immigration. He didn't mention the misdeeds of Wall Street but instead he focused on making the case for President Obama that the president could never make for himself. Just imagine what the press or the Obama's opponents would have said if Obama had used the same words Bill Clinton did when he stated, “President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years. But conditions are improving and if you'll renew the President's contract you will feel it." He added a funny line to it when he said, "“In Tampa, the Republican argument against the president’s reelection was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn’t finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in.” Bill Clinton talked about compromise back in his days but his recollection is different than mine. I remember his impeachment and the vast right-wing conspiracy against the Clintons. The compromises he made such as NAFTA, Welfare Reform, and the World Trade Agreement angered his liberal base. I remember the government shutdown but luckily, the country blamed Newt Gingrich Republicans for that. He left out the bad memories and instead chose to recall his good relations with President Eisenhower, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. He took the moral high ground with this approach, yet he was effective at knocking down Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's fibs last week in Tampa.
I thought it was strange that the Romney campaign would elevate the stature of former President Bill Clinton in their ads. The ads were making a claim that the Democrats are no longer the centrist party when Bill Clinton was at the helm. The Democrats get the last laugh because Bill Clinton mocked and disputed all their assertions in those ads.
I'm easy to please, so I expect to get a wonderful speech from Bill Clinton but the mark of a good speech is based on how your opponents view it. I took the liberty to cut and paste these two quotes. "GOP strategist and CNN pundit Alex Castellanos said that Clinton's speech tilted the scale. "Tonight when everybody leaves, lock the door. You don't have to come back tomorrow. This convention is done. This will be the moment that probably re-elected Barack Obama," he said.
Fox News' Brit Hume said that Bill Clinton "is the most talented politician [he's] ever covered and the most charming man [he's] ever met." He added, "No one in my view can frame an argument more effectively than he can."
I took a lot of pride in seeing the diversity of the party at the convention. They didn't try the hide those who were wearing their traditional turbans, speakers promoting their social issues, and others who were speaking out for Democratic values like strong unions, a healthy environment, and other populist issues.
The conventional was not without controversy because convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa determined through a voice vote to put God and Jerusalem back into the Democratic Party platform. Some of the delegates wanted GOD to be removed from those words from the 2008 platform, which read: "We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential." The other statement recognized Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel. I'm sure the Republicans will try to make political hay out of this by calling out the Democrats as being against God. The politicians don't exactly endorse the Republican platform. That's reason number 3,159 of why I keep my politics secular.
I'm not surprised anymore with a fantastic speech given by Bill Clinton, but I was amazed of his performance last night because Obama and Clinton are not on the best of terms. It's been that way since the 2008 primaries. Bill Clinton gave that speech last night as if Barack Obama was his best friend. I am impressed with a person that no one had heard of six months ago, Sandra Fluke, who spoke like a veteran politician for women's rights. I'm even more impressed with someone who just entered the spotlight four years ago, Michelle Obama, because her delivery of the speech that was written for her ,will rank among the best convention speeches ever. It caused Steve Schmidt (McCain's chief campaign strategist) to say the current GOP does not have anyone who can give a great speech like the ones that were given at this convention.
After hearing the pundits, even small conservative Joe Scarborough, agrees that the DNC put on a better convention than the RNC. I guess we are in agreement that the Democrats have put on the best convention and we still have tonight to go. I hope Democrats don't get complacent and forget to vote because conventions are not a substitute for voting. This is only phase one; they're still the debates and the economy to worry about.