Bill Clinton addresses 2008 democrat convention
Stephen Green provides some help in reading between the lines of the former president’s address to the democrat convention last night.
Clinton came out swinging, boldly stating right up front that, â€œI am here to support Barack Obama.â€ â€œSecond, Iâ€™m here to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden. I love Joe Biden and America will, too.â€ And thatâ€™s about as much mention as Biden got in Clintonâ€™s speech.
And why does Bill think Obama is â€œthe man for the job?â€ Letâ€™s take a look at his words.
Well, Clinton based that endorsement on â€œeverything I learned in eight years as President.â€ Itâ€™s all about Bill.
And why is Obama so good? Because â€œthe long, hard primaryâ€ had â€œstrengthened him.â€ In other words, Obama was weak to start.
And with Joe Biden on board, â€œAmerica will have the national security leadership we need.â€ Obama wasnâ€™t qualified, so he picked a veep who was.
But the digs didnâ€™t end there.
Clinton very pointedly mentioned crushing â€œcredit card debt.â€ And Biden is pretty much a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delawareâ€™s many credit card companies. Clinton knows that. The media know that. And pretty soon theyâ€™ll remind you of it, too.
And then there was the claim about Obamaâ€™s â€œacute grasp of foreign policy,â€ which is sure to remind folks that Obama was against the surge before he admitted itâ€™s working, and that Biden â€” like Hill â€” voted for the Iraq War.
He claimed that, â€œHillary told us in no uncertain terms that she will do everything she can to elect Barack Obama.â€ But thatâ€™s not the speech most people heard her give last night. And, â€œthat makes two of us. Actually, that makes 18 million of us.â€ The 18 million figure is the number of people who voted for Hillary during the primaries, and that served as a pointed reminder that the Clintons remain a powerful force.
It was a powerful speech, expertly delivered â€” and much of it could have come straight from Hillaryâ€™s stump speech. The recurring theme was that â€œthe job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore American leadership in the world.â€ Those are not the themes Obama is running on. No hope, no change, were anywhere to be found.
Michelle Obama noticed, too. When Michelle really smiles, she lights up the entire Pepsi Center. All she gave Clinton was her tight, closed-mouth smile. And unlike Clintonâ€™s rhetoric tonight, that doesnâ€™t light up much at all.