Liveblogging Bill Clinton’s DNC Speech

by Melissa Clouthier | August 27, 2008 8:43 pm

If you wondered if I was truly a masochist, my willingness to liveblog Bill Clinton’s DNC speech should remove all doubt. So here I sit. Come back for highlights, ya’ll!

8:03 “Don’t stop believing”. They love him. Why does Hillary look constipated? She really, really doesn’t like her husband.

The love won’t stop. Look at all the American flags! Democrats are patriotic. “We got to get on with the show here, come on!”

I am here first, to support Barack Obama. And second, [pan to Michelle Obama who gives that a standing “O”] I’m here to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden. I love Joe Biden.”

Bill’s proud of the campaign Hillary won. Hillary is teary eyed. These people are insane. What actors they are!

“Hillary will do everything to get Barack Obama elected. And I will do everything in my power to get Barack Obama elected. [Big pause] And 18 million of you will help get him elected, too.”

8:14 I’ll say this, Bill Clinton is, by far, the best speaker so far. He knows how to work an audience and he knows how to sound specific without saying anything specific. “Barack has the remarkable ability to rally people to high hopes.” Now, he lists Barack’s strengths. Strange, not much applause. “The long, hard primary, strengthened him.”

Interesting. He notes that with Biden, Barack Obama will have the foreign policy knowledge he needs. The implication is that Obama himself can’t do it, but with Biden, he can. “Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.” Does saying this help Obama? Isn’t it implied? Does it need to be said?

8:16 Michelle Obama looks terrified. Is she out of her league? Or is she just frightened about what might come out of Clinton’s mouth next?

Money quote: “People around the world have always been more impessed with the power of our example, than the example of our power.”

Here comes the red meat. Lays out the ways the Republicans have screwed up–health care, income inequality, Katrina and cronyism, ……”but we have to elect Barack Obama first.”

8:21 Bill Clinton is a master. He is gutting the Republican Congress and White House together. He’s attaching McCain masterfully to Bush and the Republicans. And it rings…true.

“In this case, the third time, is NOT the charm.”

8:24 “Barack Obama is on the right side of history.” Bill is saying what Obama cannot bring himself to say–Barack Obama is living the American dream.

“If like me, you believe that America should be a place called hope. Then …..elect Barack Obama.”

Wow. Well, Obama should get a bounce from this. But I don’t know, honestly, how Obama can do better than this. In fact, I’m quite sure he can’t.

Notes: I think this was a good speech. It was empty, really, and inaccurate all over the place about the Republicans, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that Obama would be better as Prez than McCain.

However, here’s where I think this speech hurts Obama: Obama cannot compete rhetorically. Bill Clinton’s timing, charm, and ability to work a crowd is really unparalleled. And Bill hit a home run. How will Biden and Obama compete? I don’t know that they can. Again, the two most energetic people so far (who aren’t complete crazies ala Kucinich) have the names Clinton.

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