Last night with his speech at the Democratic National Convention Bill Clinton reminded everyone why he has been such a successful politician. While his speech was long and rambling at a few moments, it was well delivered. He probably did the best job he could trying to sell the difficult arguments the Obama team is making; although the economy is still bad, it is better and will continue to get better with four more years.
I think the most telling thing about Clinton’s speech last night wasn’t anything he said, but his simple presence. The most recent Democratic president got top billing at the convention. Democrats are proud of him and believe most voters would love to return to his time in office. Democrats believe Clinton is proof their party can govern.
The contrast with how the latest Republican president was received at their convention couldn’t be sharper. Not only did George W. Bush not speak but the Republican Party pretended as if he never even existed. Not once was his name mentioned in Mitt Romney’s, Ann Romney’s, or Paul Ryan’s speeches. The Republican Party knows there is no desire to return to the Bush years.
Democrats are relatively proud of their recent history in office. Republicans, on the other hand, really don’t want voters to remember the last time they were in control.
The simple presence of Clinton reminded voters what recent history is. When Clinton was in office times were pretty good. A Republican took the White House and things went horribly wrong. Obama took over after a huge crisis,and so far has done a pretty mediocre job of fixing things. As Clinton said though, “We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in,” is not a very logical argument.