More of the Clinton show on day three — former President Clinton (the elected one) showed Hillary how a convention speech should be delivered. I was surprised by the massive outpouring of cheers and applause for Bill Clinton, because the whole message of the primaries was that the Democrats had moved on from the Clintons and were ready to take the party in a new direction with Senator Obama. This could have been designed to give the former president his moment in the sun and have some closure on the Clinton era before the Obama era begins. Of course, this effort would be a massive failure since Hillary isn’t going away.
President Clinton gave a typical Clinton speech, except that it was relatively short. The crowd was enthusiastic and cheered just about everything he said. He made a better case for Obama than his wife did, and he made what Democrats would consider to be a reasonable effort to support the current presidential ticket. It must have annoyed a few folks that he said nice things about John McCain, since he’s the next Bush and all.
Our favorite flip-flopper John F. Kerry also made an appearance and gave a coherent speech. Now that he’s no longer a threat to be president, he’s much more likable and not quite as scary as he was in ’04.
I like Joe Biden. I can’t help liking him and his story, even though I disagree with his views on about 90, 95% of the important issues of the day. His story is a great made-for-TV narrative. It is interesting that that personal story of him as a fighter doesn’t always translate into his views on foreign policy. He knows that the way to deal with bullies in the real world is to hit ’em until they respect you and leave you alone. The same should be true for rogue nations and terrorists as well, so I’m surprised that he is so willing to surrender his hawkish side to go along with Obama’s policy views. Of course this is something all VPs do, submerging their own personal views to mirror those of the presidential nominee, so I guess he’s just following the grand tradition of Gore, Lieberman, etc.
Then there was the great Obama surprise, where he attempted to steal the spotlight from Bill Clinton and his VP pick Joe Biden. Think he might have been tired of watching other people star at his convention? Looked that way to me. But it was nice of the great one to stop by and thank the little people who got him where he is today. It’s the least he could do — to show up in person and mingle with the hoi polloi for a few minutes before his big speech to the masses on Thursday.
My prediction for tonight — Obama’s speech won’t meet expectations. He may wow the mediots and some of the blind follower sheep he has in his flock, but the rest of us will look at what he said and inevitably find it lacking in useful substantial content.