WASHINGTON, September 5, 2012 — It’s show time at the Democratic Convention tonight and the Big Dog, former President Bill Clinton, will be at the podium at 10:30 p.m. EDT doing what he does best, wooing voters.
President Clinton will start by nominating President Obama for a second term, the first former president to ever do so at either convention. Clinton is already appearing in ads in North Carolina, saying that Obama’s economic plan for the country is an extension of what he started, but “It only works if there is a strong middle class. That’s what happened when I was president. We need to keep going with his plan.” Expect that to be a strong theme in this evening’s speech.
President Obama is good, a crackerjack speaker, and he can rouse a crowd, but only Bill Clinton can feel our pain. And that is what he will do tonight: feel America’s pain in these tough economic times. Then he will soothe us with honeyed words that come straight from the heart as he looks into the camera and tells us why Obama is still the best answer to America’s problems and why Mitt Romney is bad for America.
If Bill Clinton still has the magic touch, and there is no reason to think he has lost it, he will not only move the Convention crowd to its feet, he will sway those folks sitting on the fence to hop down and vote Democratic. People love to love Bill Clinton. How else to explain how he survived a massive sex scandal when he was president, only to become a beloved statesman, revered for his eight years in the White House. His popularity is at an all time high, with 66% of Americans viewing him favorably, according to the Gallup Poll.
No doubt about it, Clinton is charming, knowledgeable, and politically savvy. He could probably run again for President and win.
So when Bill Clinton says America needs Barack Obama, America will listen. Then he will lay out for us the reasons why America can’t take a chance on handing the White House back to the very Republicans who brought us to the brink of another Great Depression.
Expect passion, expect poignancy, expect sincerity, expect Clinton to bite his lower lip as he pauses before giving us a punch line. Bill Clinton wants this to be his finest moment and he is writing his own speech to ensure that. And no, he is not showing it to the Obama people for their approval. He’s Bill Clinton, for Pete’s sake.
The Obama folks say that’s okay with them, but you know they have to be a little nervous, even though Obama and Clinton have reconciled. Everyone knows Clinton can be a wild card, not like Clint Eastwood, but he has been known to launch off course from his speeches, even his own, and say something that hits him spontaneously. He could even have a Joe Biden moment of his own. So how self-disciplined will Clinton be tonight, a man not known for that trait?
And yes, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is speaking tonight as well and her appearance almost sounds like an after thought, but that is the problem of sharing a podium with “Elvis”: he sucks the oxygen out of the room. She really deserves a better time slot than Wednesday with Clinton, but the Democrats wanted some of that prime TV real estate for her too and the networks are really stingy in sharing any of the free airtime we the taxpayers have given them.
So Warren is stuck coming on around 10 p.m. EDT just before Clinton. But she is a woman worthy in her own right of being listened to. After all it was Elizabeth Warren who pushed President Obama to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Then when he indicated that he would appoint her to be its first director, the Republicans in Congress played hardball and let him know that they would refuse to consider her nomination. She graciously stepped aside and Obama had to make a recess appointment of a new watchdog to oversee the agency.
Warren, who is both folksy and tough, then went home to Massachusetts to take on Republican Senator Scott Brown in his re-election campaign. And it has been a tough campaign, especially since Brown seems to have discovered his inner Democrat, thus leaving Warren to run against a moderate. So she needs all the prime time exposure she can get, but there is no doubt she will be overshadowed this evening by the Big Dog.
Meanwhile, the first game of the NFL season between the Super Bowl champions New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys kicks off at 8:30 p.m. EDT on NBC. Around 10:30 p.m. when Clinton goes on, it just may be half time. So tune in, you NFL fans, to see a real champ score.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
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