Skip to comments.Obama turns to Bill Clinton, the old pro, to help win reelection (Midas touch?)
Posted on 09/03/2012 3:30:36 AM PDT by Libloather
Obama turns to Bill Clinton, the old pro, to help win reelection
By Russell Berman - 09/03/12 05:00 AM ET
President Obama is turning to Bill Clinton, his former foe, for a big lift at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C.
The ex-president on Wednesday night will formally place Obamas name into nomination with a speech aimed at reminding the American electorate that the policies Obama is pursuing are the ones that led to the nations longest period of economic expansion, during the 1990s.
Obamas selection of Clinton for such a high-profile address is the latest evidence, for those who still need it, that the former presidents stinging criticism of Obama in 2008 and his occasional off-message comments in the years since are water under the bridge.
It also demonstrates that 20 years after his election to the presidency, Clinton remains the Democratic Partys most effective economic messenger.
President Clinton has a remarkable ability to explain things. He doesnt talk down to people and he doesnt talk over their heads, said Paul Begala, a former adviser and longtime Clinton confidant. His ability to explain these things is second to none.
Clintons plainspoken style is a contrast to the lofty oratory that Americans have come to expect from Obama.
A prime-time speaking slot for Clinton has become as standard at Democratic conventions as the balloons and confetti. He has delivered an evening address every four years for nearly a quarter-century, and only in 1988 when Clinton infamously droned on far too long has his speech earned anything less than rave reviews.
Clinton gave lengthy talks in support of Vice President Gore in 2000 and Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) in 2004. His much-anticipated speech backing Obama in 2008 came just months after the Illinois senators bitter Democratic primary fight with then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), during which Bill Clinton likened Obamas candidacy to a fairytale and dismissed his success in South Carolina as similar to that of the Rev. Jesse Jacksons long-shot campaign in 1988.
The crux of Clintons speech in 2008 boiled down to 11 words: Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.
In the years since, Clinton has given Obama both help and heartburn. He served as a crucial surrogate in late 2010 as the president sought to sell the deal he struck with Republicans to extend the George W. Bush-era tax rates. But hes also stepped on Obamas campaign message from time to time, such as when he credited Mitt Romney for a sterling business career and seemed to suggest that the full slate of Bush tax cuts should again be extended.
Theres no one better than President Clinton to lay out the clear choice Americans face in this election, between moving forward with President Obama or falling backward with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who support the same failed policies that led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher said.
The Obama campaign would not preview Clintons address in Charlotte beyond pointing to a 30-second ad the former president cut for Obama, which was released last month.
This election, to me, is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment. This is a clear choice, Clinton says, speaking directly to the camera. The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper-income people and go back to deregulation. Thats what got us in trouble in the first place. President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up, investing in innovation, education and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class. Thats what happened when I was president. We need to keep going with his plan.
A Clinton spokesman did not return requests for comment.
Clinton also is likely to include some lavish praise for his wife, who is not appearing at the convention in deference to her non-political position as secretary of State. There is a lot of speculation that Hillary Clinton will run again in 2016, though she has said she will not.
If Clintons speech on Wednesday follows the pattern of his recent convention addresses, it will include an extended recitation of his own economic record and the rosier times of the 1990s.
Clinton presided over the greatest boom in world history, certainly in American history, Begala said. People remember that, and they like it.
In a poll released last month by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 57 percent of registered voters had a favorable opinion of Clinton a higher rating than they gave any of the four men on the 2012 national ticket.
For the Obama campaign, the biggest risk could be that Clinton unwittingly leads viewers to draw an unfavorable comparison between himself and Obama, who has served through three and a half years of high unemployment and an uneven economic recovery.
Begala said Clinton is well-positioned to explain the circumstances to voters, and, more broadly, to articulate the common set of ideas that worked in the 1990s and are needed again today.
I have been involved, I guarantee you, in more than a thousand Bill Clinton speeches, and very few of them have failed, said Begala, who emphasized he was not speaking for Clinton nor working with the Obama campaign. I doubt [the Obama team is] worried, or they wouldnt have asked him to give the speech. I think President Clinton knows what hes doing here. Hes getting pretty good at this game.
I've seen the *Crinton ad - "Hussein has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up." After four years of garbage? It ain't gonna fly.
Bill Clinton.....the DISGRACED IMPEACHED President!! People have to be REMINDED of what he did in the oval office.
America needs to be reminded who Clinton was and is. His wife in the position of secretary of state is a globalist hoping for a queen seat in world government her husband is a diplomat, spokesman and representative and zero is one of many foot soldiers in place
So Clinton is speaking during a national telecast of the season-opening NFL football game (Dallas Cowboys- New York Giants)this year? Good planning.
Bet they only want sound bite they can cherry pick and take our of context to use in upcoming Obama comercials.
....When two snakes start eating the same prey, they will eventually meet at some point and one will try to eat the other. This would often result in both snakes to die
“For the Obama campaign, the biggest risk could be that Clinton unwittingly leads viewers to draw an unfavorable comparison between himself and Obama,.... “
Oh they will not be any un in the wittingly.
I’ll be watching the game.
clinton has doggedly refused to allow the obama campaign to vet his speech. He is going to stick a corkscrew into obama and twist it until the cork pops. And he is very, very good at it.
Forget about Hillary....remind people that Clinton was IMPEACHED and had BJ’s in the Oval Office. Now exactly WHY is he their Best and Brightest??????
Clinton may eventually end up nominating Obama, but it will be after a lengthy treatise on how great "Me" was.
That is likely why Clinton has not shown Obama his speech.
“The ex-president on Wednesday night will formally place Obamas name into nomination with a speech aimed at reminding the American electorate that the policies Obama is pursuing are the ones that led to the nations longest period of economic expansion, during the 1990s. “
This is a lie. The economic expansion began 3/91 , so it was 22 months along before Clinton assumed office ( I still remember poor Dan Quayle bringing in a poster board showing that to Ted Koppel on Nightline during the waning days of the ‘92 campaign and the snarky dismissive response he got from Koppel). And, what Clinton led us into was a recession, officially starting two months after he left office, but that’s likely only from number-fudging down the stretch.
March 1991 — March 2001: 120 months
February 1961 — December 1969: 106 months
November 1982 — July 1990: 92 months
Call me crazy, but I think past presidents who have gone into a full and quiet retirement...are the ones with class. The clowns who gallivant around, seeking the spotlight, e.g., Carter, Clinton, are nothing but crass and egotistical opportunists.
I saw Bill Clinton’s used car salesman ad on YV last night. Obama has a plan? Is it the same plan that has failed so miserably the last four years?
That has placed more American on welfare than ever in history, has 25 million people un or under employed, created the longest stretch of high unemploymeny since the great depression? has racked up 6 trillion in debt in 4 years? And has been so full of cronyism that even the stimulus packages racked up more debt?
That plan? Or is it another plan, like his budgets that got exactly ZERO votes in the US House that even the democrats would not vote for?
Or is it like the Senate budget plan that has not been put forward or discussed in the US Senate for over 3 years? Is it one of those plans?
Well? Which is it?
And as regards Bill Clinton, you’d think people would remember jusy a couple of things about ole slick willy.
1) He was disbarred for lying under oath.
2) He was impeached for lying to the American people and trying to obstruct justice.
2) As a married man, he took sexual advantage of an intern while President and did so in the Oval office and elsewhere in the White House.
...and THIS is the great bulwark the democrats bring forward to introduce and present Barack Obama?
OBAMA’S LIST OF DISASTEROUS FIRSTS
I never thought much of Clinton.
He is basically a used car salesman with a lot full of worn out taxicabs for sale.
If this man can look at the last 4 years under Obama and come out and ask the American people to vote for this atrocity ,he is even less a man than even I thought he was, and no American at all.
Is it true that Obama & Biden will show up only on Thursday, make their pitch from inside a football stadium, and will not even enter the convention hall where the delegates are hammering out the Dem platform and where Clinton will be speaking?
If so, this will spare Obama several indignities:
1. Gasping for breath as Clinton sucks all the oxygen out of the room.
2. Appearing on the same stage with the vastly more popular Bubba. Done it before, it doesn’t work.
3. Reliving the awkwardness of 1980 when Jimmah Carter chased Ted Kennedy around the stage desperately seeking his handshake.
If Obama & Clinton aren’t seen together in public for the rest of this campaign, it will be for many, many reasons.
It simply says
“America, put some ice on it. You should feel privileged to be raped by a democrat.”
Oh wait a minute...
Toughest decision for the DNC: Who should introduce Bill Clinton; Monica Lewinsky or Juanita Broderick?