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The real importance of Bill Clinton’s wonderfully long speech

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | September 6, 2012

Bill Clinton’s speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention was very long but it was masterful — not only in laying out the case for Barack Obama and against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, but in giving the American public what they most want and need in this election season: details, facts, and logic.

Republicans have eschewed all detail, all fact, all logic. Theirs has been a campaign of ideological bromides mixed with outright bald-faced lies.

Therein lies the importance of what Bill Clinton accomplished tonight. But, just as importantly, it wasn’t a wonky talk. He packaged the facts in a way people could hear. This is the highest calling of a public educator.

The question is not how many undecided voters saw the speech (I doubt many did) but whether it galvanizes Democrats — giving them the clarity of conviction and argument they need over the next nine weeks to explain why Obama must be re-elected, and why a Romney-Ryan administration would be a disaster for this country.

I believe Clinton’s speech accomplished this perfectly. We shall see.

Cross-posted from Robert Reich’s blog.

Comments to “The real importance of Bill Clinton’s wonderfully long speech

  1. It’s always a big plus when a relevent “celebrity” can support your case. Obama’s campaign looks stronger with Bill Clinton’s endorsement.

  2. “Republicans have eschewed all detail, all fact, all logic. Theirs has been a campaign of ideological bromides mixed with outright bald-faced lies” and the entire GOP convention reminded me of Philosopher Searle’s famous metaphor:

    “Curiously, many — in America do not seem to perceive that they are all in this together. Like buffaloes being shot, they look on with interest when another of their number goes down, without seriously thinking that they may be next.”

  3. Clinton’s first term was a success because he moved to the center, and those policies apparently worked.

    Obama moved to the left, and those policies have not worked.

    Why should we vote in favor of more of that?

  4. I was wavering not sure on who I was going to vote for, after listening to Bill Clinton I convinced Obama will get my vote.

  5. Romney/Ryan represent everything that brought this great nation to the brink of economic disaster: Big corporations decimating our downtowns and squashing small businesses; outsourcing and downsizing; making millions by bankrupting companies and laying off workers; shipping good American jobs overseas; unleashing Wall Street and the banks with deregulation; tax cuts for the elite even during wartime and economic crisis; massive tax evasion and offshore bank accounts; and on and on…

    All this while demonizing “big government” – otherwise known as school teachers, police officers, firefighters, construction workers, librarians and other public servants. Private sector jobs are up while public sector layoffs due to budget cuts continue to be a drag on our economy.

    Republicans have no record to run on so they resort to reviving the Cold War and McCarthyism while trying to paint our moderate President as some kind of a “Commie.” Nothing but lies, lies, lies.

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