Amazon.com Widgets

« Unity | Main | John Kerry at the Democratic Convention »

Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention

People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than the example of our power.—Bill Clinton




Quicktime Video 30.5 MB | Duration: 21'47
Quicktime 7 required
This file is available for download here.
Ctrl-Click and 'Download Linked File' (Mac)
or Rt-Click and 'Save Target As' (PC) the link above.


 

Comments

i am repeating myself but best speech i saw so far. absolutely best, not sure even Obama can top this one.

Biden did fine, not this good, but his stuff on foreign policy went really well and they should hone this down into those annoying talking points about McCain.

I thought Bidens son made a fabulous introduction as well.

Even Kerry did fine. ( and i have never liked to listen to him talk)

i am repeating myself but best speech i saw so far. absolutely best, not sure even Obama can top this one.

I'm surprised but I agree. I'd even say it was brilliant because the delivery was so 'natural' and compelling. Finally a focused speech that touched on all manner of issues just in the right tone: serious, balanced in its acknowledgments, respectful of the persons criticized but appropriately fierce about their views--and the sparkling and deft chiasmatic formulation that Norm quoted: the power of our example, not the example of our power.

This is trademark Bill Clinton - a very good speech, but I'm not sure it was the best I've seen him give. Perhaps it seemed better because his supporting role limited his the duration to just the right amount of time.

Perhaps you guys are just too young to fully remember what it was like to have a president who isn't a downright moron."

––––––––––––––––––––––

*"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Great speech. He convinced me.

I thought Kerry delivered the most impressive speech of the night. Bill Clinton’s speech was excellent but knowing that Bill wasn’t on board with Obama until recently I think this speech was more about Bill preserving his legacy. Kerry has been an ardent supporter of Obama’s for quite some time (he did choose Obama to give the keynote address in 2004) so I felt his speech came across as more genuine. And I was moved to tears, along with Michelle Obama, by Beau Biden’s speech. A great night!

This speech was great!

I'm one of those people that thought Hillary wouldn't support Obama with much effort in hopes of running a 2012 campaign. But after watching these two speeches, I have to say, I think they're for real. They really want this country changed around for the better and they know Obama can do that.

solid work. the clintons really showed up. very glad to see that tonight.

Yes the Clintons really came out with both guns blazzing!

John Kerry gave some powerful attacks on John McCain as well.

it's kind of weird, but clinton's very competance- and make no mistake, he is an extremely gifted public speaker- just emphasizes, for me, just how good obama really is as an inspirational speaker. i don't know what other people think about the relative importance of a presidents ability to truly move an audience that includes intellectuals, but i rate it very highly, and clinton's style- while highly successful in it's own right- is too cheesy, too "lowest common denominator" to qualify as intellectual, or even particularly thoughtful in any way.

just as a for instance, he reiterated 3 times his call on what he called the "2 most important issues in the election":

"rebuilding the american dream" and "restoring america's leadership in the world". effective, yet empty populism, in my estimation, as well as inaccurate and evasive. he's willing to stoop pretty low to scoop up "whatever works", in other words.

obama, on the other hand, shines as both a man of the people (single mom, black, fine basketball player, hardnosed chicago politician) AND a person of nothing-to-sneeze-at depth and insight, in a way that eclipses even (and especially) jfk- and leaves clinton looking and sounding like some goofy high school football hero. he's really that good, and i'm a little embarassed that i'm so taken in by it, but i am.

both the clintons, as smart and effective as they are, seem a little crude by comparison.

i realize that this kind of ability doesn't necessarily make a good president, but honestly i've never even SEEN this level of skill in a presidential candidate (in my lifetime). the little 11 year old self that still resides within me is still longing for plato's "philosopher king" and obama's the closest thing i've ever seen in an american presidential candidate.

obama, on the other hand, shines as both a man of the people (single mom, black, fine basketball player, hardnosed chicago politician) AND a person of nothing-to-sneeze-at depth and insight, in a way that eclipses even (and especially) jfk- and leaves clinton looking and sounding like some goofy high school football hero. he's really that good, and i'm a little embarassed that i'm so taken in by it, but i am. both the clintons, as smart and effective as they are, seem a little crude by comparison.

I'm not sure we quite agree, although you capture very well issues that have been much on my mind these days. First, I take part of the political strategy of Clinton's speech was for an experienced and well-respected statesman to offer an across-the-board endorsement. More generally, in terms of sheer intellectual power--whether or not this is always expressed in public speeches--I would say Obama is on par with Clinton, who along with Kennedy I take to be among the sharpest minds elected to the presidency in the last half century (although sheer intellect does not by itself make for good policies or leadership).

Naturally, in American politics, being that smart can be a huge political negative. The reason the democratic party gets charged with "elitism" when they elevate people like Obama, while the Republicans, who are up to their ears in corrupt wealth and inherited privilege do not, is that it can seem that anyone can always get rich or earn more money--at least, in principle. You can't just go out and "get" more smarts. So the line separating the "have" from the "have-nots" in the two cases is very different, in public perception, if not in fact. I seriously believe this is why Republicans have such success with candidates just a hair's-breadth above the retard status, like George Bush (note: candidates--others, like Wolfowitz, Rummy, et. al., are corrupt, cynical, blindly ideological hacks, but they ain't stupid).

I always wonder how politicians like Bill and Barack reconcile within themselves that kind of sheer intellectual power with the blatant oversimplification and saccharine cliche that politics in the U.S. all to often is. In presenting himself, Bill combines a folksy, conversational style with raw intelligence in such a way that makes even the most ornate and insightful moments of his speeches--like the lovely chiasmus in this one--sound like just plain common sense. That is not Obama's style at all--at moments he can radiate a kind of self-awareness and--for anyone familiar with some of his writing--an ability for introspection that can come off, politically, as being aloof. And the ornate and intelligent moments of his speech sound like exactly that--beautifully crafted, lofty, subtle, intelligent.

I think this difference in part accounts for why Bill Clinton could get in the trenches and smear the Republicans right back, viscerally--it wouldn't undermine his image, his entire way of presenting himself as a candidate, and he can still charge the Republicans with using dirty tactics while engaging in them himself. Obama, however, cannot--politically cannot--do that without undermining completely his skillfully and carefully crafted image as a calm, thoughtful, self-possessed and intelligent candidate. The gamble, I take it, is this: he is the opposite of the "from the gut", act-now-think-later, style of governance that George Bush embodies. (Note, I'm saying this is how B.O. represents himself--I'm not denying he's just as cunning and Machiavellian as the next politican when he needs to be).

In endorsing Obama early on against HRC, I felt that the Democratic party needed to make that gamble--to take at least some of the stupidity out of politics because it is not a game Democrats can consistently win--they're almost perversely proud of that fact--and more importantly, approaching its zenith (or nadir, depending on how you look at it) in Bush Jr., it is destroying our country. Whether that turns out to be totally naive gamble, as some of HRC's supporters charge, only time will tell. I do know this--there is no way Obama's team would set up expectations for Obama's speech tonight as they have without planning to deliver in spades.

Let's hope that the Clintons continue this kind of first-class campaigning for the next 10 weeks. They can help considerably in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida, and Michigan. Where can George Bush help John McCain? Does he help sew up the corrupt, incompetent torture vote? I think McCain already has Texas in the bag.

Yeah, those Cubans love Clinton.

What a pleasure to listen to smart people speak. What a change from the last eight years of frat boy's "awesome." Fingers crossed for a fantastic speech from Obama tonight.

Tim - I love that Mencken quote!! I'm so used to these days of super nationalism and pandering to the "real American" that I did not see it coming :)

1st off, Norm - thank you so much for posting these speeches. In the 1st week of classes, I'm getting home around 8 or 9 and have missed half of them. Being able to catch them over lunch has been inspiring for me.

2nd - to Steve Muth - you made me laugh over your Rivera comment over in Kucinich!

3rd - This was a fantastic speech. Whereas as Hillary Clinton talked 2/3-3/4 of the time about herself and the rest about Obama, Bill Clinton talked very little only about himself and Hillary, and when he did, he tied Obama right in there.

This speech really laid out policies for the future and legacies of past administrations. Bill came across as fully supporting Obama and gave the audience material to take with them on the quest. I'm not into sound bites, but the one Norm quoted at the top is primo. His off the cuff remark about "yes we can, but we have to elect him 1st" was spot-on. I'm looking forward to barack's speech this evening - skipping DL cause there's no TV at the bar.

Tim - another thumbs up for the Mecken quotation. Jonathan - Beau Biden also got me crying - glad it wasn't just me and Michelle. And for those of you on the "hot" commentary - both Beau and Hunter are just that. Since Michelle is also married, I don't feel too out of line going there.

That's right Slick Willy! The world doesn't need us doing stuff like bombing innocent pharmaceutical plants to distract people from our in-office sexual liaisons and years of lying (even under oath!) to cover them up.

Exactly calli.

Legalese is used to avoid solid truth/lying.

Which would you prefer anyway?

That's a pretty tired and discredited wag the dog accusation, calligraph. After realizing what devestation OBL was determined to wreck, shouldn't the Republicans have been working with the Democrats on national security instead of their unfounded calls of wag the dog? The Republicans were so wrapped up in discrediting Clinton's popularity instead of trying to run the country (and letting him do his job) that they drove us all crazy with the who-the-h@ll-cares affair. Not to mention the $$$$millions of tax payer dollars spent on outing the affair. If nothing else, I really resent the waste of our money to find out about an affair! What about Papa Bush's affair with a women who was said to really influence him. He said it was a lie. Do you think we should've spent a gazillion dollars trying to find out the truth of that? It's never too late --- to talk about the double standard of the Republican party.

As the resident Republican town crier, aren't you kind of embarrassed to bring up this example of the dominance of party politics over the good of the people?

That's a pretty tired and discredited wag the dog accusation, calligraph

You can't discredit something that cannot be proven or disproven, like intent. But the fact that Clinton operated under false intelligence - some of which was old false intelligence, which he knew to be false - and bombed a pharmaceutical company at a very convenient time, causing an ongoing humanitarian crisis ... that's not even debatable. It's documented. Which makes his words about 'use of power' ring exceptionally hollow.

Do you think we should've spent a gazillion dollars trying to find out the truth of that?

Ask yourself who made such an investigation inevitable. The man lied repeatedly, even under oath, about the issue. We all know he could have just admitted it and actually done well by it - the left loves a cheater, as long as he's in their own camp (look at JFK).

Now, I'll agree that spending tons of money and having a long, drawn-out investigation over an affair, that's pretty dumb. I'm no Puritan. But we know from court documents that the man was getting a hummer while discussing deployment of troops in an active battle. I liken it to smoking pot. I don't care if you do it at home. But if you get high and then try to operate your forklift, you need to get fired.

The guy has lots of such scummy scandals, and somehow has come out of the whole thing smelling like a rose. Why? Because we all got rich while Clinton was president (even though he had nothing to do with it). Really, it makes you wonder.

I read Clarke's book - a Republican who only wrote a book because he was shocked by Bush's push to war with Iraq (and perhaps the general overall incompetence of this administration) - and I feel pretty good about Clinton's leadership. I know your group has tried to discredit Clarke but the motivation just isn't there. And, it's funny - of course wag the dog would occur to those who used it constantly --- try terror threat alerts.

Ask yourself who made such an investigation inevitable. The man lied repeatedly, even under oath, about the issue.
Is that really what you think? That for some reason it was necessary for them to know? That they put all that money into it because he lied under oath? Nice try but - nope. Ken Starr was brought in for Whitewater somewhere in '94. That was the investigation. They found nothing and Ken Starr was done but the Republicans were not going to let him rest until they found something. So they just kept at everything until they could find something - four years later. And then, they proceeded to shove it down our throats non-stop. Instead of letting Clinton do his job - instead of them doing their job - we had to deal with this non-scandal day in and out. There have been bigger scandals every month of Bush's rule but they only have to do with his job so they don't seem relevant.

As far as your whole concern about sex and work - although I've never gotten high and operated a forklift, I have a pretty good idea that is not an apt analogy. And, BTW, did you have any concern with Ronnie operating under senility?

Clinton smelling like a rose? You mean after the huge smear campaign, people are still happy that we had a smart president who did a relatively good job and left the country economically strong (to be so quickly frittered away, by Bush who then proceeds to blame it on anything other than his incompetence and greedy cronies). Perhaps some of that has to do with the comparison to Bush. And now, in the Republican bullpen - bleeding gums McCain ready to continue the war on the middle class. Yep - Clinton really does smell like a rose.

Is that really what you think?

Nice job, Jill. Whether or not it is what calligraph really thinks, it is what he really wants to talk about. He denies that conservatives are obsessed with personality attacks, but he just can't resist going back to it - and that is because conservatives have either stolen or fucked up everything they've touched. THEY CAN"T MAKE THEIR CASE, they're bereft of ideas, so it's bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

Whether or not it is what calligraph really thinks, it is what he really wants to talk about. He denies that conservatives are obsessed with personality attacks, but he just can't resist going back to it - and that is because conservatives have either stolen or fucked up everything they've touched.

Yeah, I find it pretty extraordinary that some conservatives get all hot under the collar--STILL-- that Clinton may have lied about getting a bj (which, in my view, was no one's business anyway), invent unverifiable smears--which are acknowledged to be unverifiable--about Clinton's intentions in the Balkans, while for the last 7 some years we've had a president who took us to war on false pretense (testified to by many ex-admin. insiders and the Dowling Street memo), sat by while a major American city suffered a catastrophic natural disaster; suspended habeas corpus; overturned constitutional protections of privacy and warrantless government spying; distorted scientific research on the environment, health, and many other important issues; suggested using first-strike, "baby"-nukes against Iran; fired for political purposes U.S. attorneys with democratic affiliations, and on, and on, and on.

And what they still want to talk about is sex? Give me a break.

Navigation

Support this site

Google Ads


Powered by Movable Type Pro

Copyright © 2002-2017 Norman Jenson

Contact


Commenting Policy

note: non-authenticated comments are moderated, you can avoid the delay by registering.

Random Quotation

Individual Archives

Monthly Archives