The Big Dog, the Greatest. President. Ever., has spoken:
Period. Eight years of relative peace and undeniable prosperity for all. And he did it by raising taxes on the wealthy.
Ronald Reagan was called the Great Communicator, but never once did he ever have to seriously defend his abysmal economic record for the middle class. Indeed, very quietly in his second term, Reagan instituted the greatest tax hike on the American people since the income tax was instituted, and still barely created jobs. Unemployment under Reagan's tax schemes still averaged 7.5%, not much lower than Barack Obama's rate, and Reagan almost single-handedly created the homeless population of America. This, despite sending American troops overseas nearly continuously.
Back to Clinton's speech: it had nearly everything you'd wish Barack Obama could say, and indeed may have been written with an eye towards the freedom an ex-President-- one who has established his bona fides as someone who has disagreements with the current Oval Office-- has to comment on the "loyal" opposition. This paragraph in particular stands out:
After all, it was only 15 years ago. We ain't that dumb. It was a noble and gracious sentiment and yet still stabbed at the heart of the Teabaggers in ways no other Democrat could.
Clinton dismantled the economic "policy" that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have both signed onto, and countered that cronies were more important to Romney and Republicans than jobs.
But this, this I think was Clinton's strongest argument of the night:
But Clinton laid out the case magnificently, using arithmetic and logic, and laid it out in language that the average person watching in his living room could understand.
It's a talent he has. It's a talent I can only aspire to as I write these pitiful little blogposts to you, my readers.
And now for a couple of side notes:
1) Tonight, President Obama will accept the party nomination for President. Last night, the last Democratic President was trotted out for a barnburner of a speech, but where was his wife?
She was in East Timor. Under the guise of "the Secretary of State should not attend political conventions," because, you know, politics stop at our shores. Right?
It would not surprise me, however, if Madam Secretary has an August surprise up her sleeve to bring home tonight, just ahead of the evening news cycle.
2) I would be remiss if I didn't not mention the speech given by Elizabeth Warren, Senate candidate from Massachussetts. Between her and the Big Dog, it was a wonky night, but a wonky night that was easily digestible by anyone who sat in front of a television and paid attention. She's a gifted explainer and I am sure that Massachussetts recognizes "smaht" when they see it.
3) Michelle Obama Tuesday night. Bill Clinton Wednesday night. They have stirred the convention, the national media and the electorate into a rhetorical frenzy. Either this convention has been one of the best choreographed conventions to re-introduce a President to his people, and Barack Obama has the greatest speech of his life in him (not an easy task, given how many great ones he has given), or the convention fizzles tonight. Either way, it will make for great television.
The people in the hall in Tampa stood and cheered. For the Dems, the people at home have stood and cheered right along with the delegates.