Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention was quintessential Clinton: well-organized, detailed, too long, self-indulgent, delivered with gravitas and chock full of “aw shucks and aw heck” moments. It was an attempt to bask again in the warm glow of political adulation replete with professorial and avuncular crooked-index-finger-wagging, a sharp rejoinder to those vague policy promises of the Republicans, an attempt to gloss over the failed policies and promises of Obama, and a “come to Jesus” plea for Democrats and Independents, all without invoking Jesus. It was a masterful set-up for the hope for second coming of the closer, or, as some derisively call him, the anointed one, Barack Hussein Obama.
Will it prove to overshadow, or serve as a smooth, slick oratorical rhetoric for Obama? Will it give Obama the intended bump? Is it enough to seal the deal? It will probably not seal the deal in as much as generally a few weeks after the conventions few people remember or are motivated by convention speeches.
The Democratic base of about 38 percent will vote Democratic, the 38 percent Republican base will vote Republican. The remaining 24 percent of independents, or unaffiliated, will pull the lever for various personal and policy reasons. But when was the last time they, or you, so swayed by convention prattle, carried those lofty platitudes into the voting booth and said to yourself, “aw shucks, we need ‘shared responsibilities’ as Clinton would say,” or “’we will reapply our founding principles’ as Paul Ryan would say”?