Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bubba Speaks

by Carter Wrenn
(visit TalkingAboutPolitics, by Gary Pearce and Carter Wrenn)
Gary, I’m guessing you slept very well last night and woke up this morning with a smile on your face. If I had a lick of sense I’d hang out a sign today that says “Gone Fishing” instead of writing about Bill Clinton’s speech but I promised so here goes.

The good news, from where I sit, is one speech can’t decide the election. The bad news is one speech can be a wind change – and Bill Clinton gave such a humdinger of a speech he had me thinking I ought to be for Obama-care and that Republicans can’t add 2 + 2.

More seriously, since January voters have formed a picture of what has happened to them over the last four years and of Obama and Mitt Romney. Last night, Bill Clinton offered them a completely different way to interpret the picture. For instance he said, No one could have repaired the damage he (Obama) found four years ago – then set out to prove it, in detail, and along the way rebutted the Republicans’ attacks on Obama on workfare, on Medicare, on unemployment.

The moment he was done, thinking, With all those statistics that speech must have been packed full of half-truths, I clicked over to Fox News to watch the ‘fact-checkers’ whip out the long knives and see the “fair and balanced” commentators chop Clinton to shreds. I heard:

The speech was defensive – backwards looking.

People will get lost in the details.

The speech was sprawling, undisciplined, self-indulgent.

It was a policy work seminar.

Well, Obama’s no Clinton.

And finally, Clinton’s speech was too long – people turned off the TV set at eleven o’clock.

Let’s hope so.

Because not one commentator cited a fact Clinton got wrong.

As I said, Bubba’s speech didn’t elect Barack Obama, but Bill Clinton did hand Obama a road map to get elected and what happens next depends on whether Barack Obama knows a good thing when he sees it: Whether he returns to the Obama campaign’s ‘politics as usual’ or changes course to follow Clinton’s roadmap.

If he does, Mitt Romney is going to need a new road map too.


cltindependent said...

Anybody who says Clinton times were not good times, is a liar. I do remember them being out for he and his wife's blood, but not with the same venom. I would love to see what Bill Clinton would have done if Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde (both of whom were cheating on their wives while persecuting Clinton) would have allowed him to do his job. I'm an Independent in NC and I'm so happy we are a battleground state. Both parties spend money here now. If I had to choose a surrogate, I'd rather Bill Clinton who sounded like he'd forgotten any bad blood and wished Obama were his own son, than Chris Christie, who didn't even mention Mitt Romney until almost 20 minutes into his speech.

Wiley Coyote said...

And Slick Willy came within 17 votes of being removed from the Presidency.

His housing policies helped start the downward spiral of the economy, could have gotten Bin Laden but didn't, terrorists plotted 911 attacks during his terms and carried out attacks on the WTC before 911.

All the while he was playing with his cigar...

This Independent will NOT vote for Obama.

Anonymous said...

clinton had a good economy, but ONLY AFTER 1995 when Republicans took over congress. The first 2 years, with a demo congress, saw the economy that clinton took over on his first day, that was growing at better than 4%, SHRINK to just over 2%.

AND, as for that surplus, clinton NEVER presented a budget to congress that even balanced, let alone produced a surplus. The Republican congress declared EACH of his budgets, DOA, and replaced them with budgets that DID balance, which clinton promptly took credit for.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Clinton would ever tell a lie. Let me rephrase that, I don't think he would ever tell the truth.

David P. McKnight said...

Respect Reagan's Republicanism

I think the Democrats should refrain from speculating on whether Ronald Reagan would still be a Republican if he were living today. President Reagan's brands of conservative and progressive Republicanism was very resilient, and he was able to work with all segments of the Republican Party.

Don't forget that his first choice of a running mate in his 1976 primary challenge to President Gerald Ford was Pennsylvania Sen. Richard Schweiker, who was considered somewhat er-uh, liberal at the time.

I enjoyed a lot of Bill Clinton's speech, but especially given his cordial personal relations with both Presidents Bush, I feel that he should not call into question Reagan's historic standing among the GOP faithful today.

Democrats are lucky that Mitt Romney has not taken this point and run with it as once again, Romney has been unable or unwilling to "team up" with his former primary opponents, especially Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, both of whom are ardent defenders of the Reagan conservative mantel.

So all in all, it was a pretty good speech by the Arkansan-turned-New Yorker, who made sure he got to the Obama nomination gesture right from the get-go. Yes, Clinton's address was almost as good as a Rufus Edmisten stemwinder.

Congratulations to The Observer for running this item from the political blog of the Gary Pearce-Carter Wrenn tandem. Those two guys, who have formed a remarkable editorial partnership following the adversarial challenges of their respective years with Gov. Jim Hunt and Sen. Jesse Helms, are two of the most astute, knowledgeable and witty observers of the political scene in Raleigh and across North Carolina.

Yogi Berra said that you can observe a lot just by watching, so fellow Charlotteans, if you want to be in the know, just follow Pearce and Wrenn.

David P. McKnight said...

"The Water's Edge"

By the way, maestro pundits Carter Wrenn and Gary Pearce of the Capital City can appreciate a bit of Piedmont geography with this little bit of musing:

"Say, you know how they say that when it comes to foreign policy, politics stops at the water's edge?"

"Oh yeah, I've heard that adage. But I'd like to know which bodies of water they are talking about."

"Well, with Bill Clinton, husband of the Secretary of the State, taking the podium for the Democrats at the DNC n Charlotte, the water's edge must have been either the Catawba River, the Yadkin River, Lake Norman or Paw Creek!"