For three days the speakers who walked up to the podium at the Democratic National Convention continued to display remarkable gifts of oratory. They demonstrated the ability to make their audience laugh, cry, cheer and jump to their feet.
From the fiery Deval Patrick to the now not so obscure Julian Castro to our very dignified First Lady, they struck a chord with many of us across America. Of course, we all know that if anyone can give a speech it is President Obama and he certainly did not let us down.
They all managed to demonstrate very effectively that the difference between Republicans and Democrats is that one party worships and obsesses over those who have already attained the American dream and the other party wishes to ensure that the American dream is attainable by everyone.
Using words, putting them together and then delivering them in such a manner that they inspire others is not something that many of us can do. Bill Clinton however, can give a speech as easily and as naturally as most of us can tie our shoes. His oratory skills have never been in doubt, but the reason why the 48 minutes that Bill Clinton stood at the podium were so effective was not because he had a gift with words or can tell a joke.
Why does Bill Clinton's speech matter so much? The answer is quite simple really, because Bill Clinton matters.
Bill Clinton is the ultimate "who-would-you-rather-have-a-beer-with-president." He commands the respect of millions not just in the U.S., but around the world. After a convention in which the Republican Party was too embarrassed to send a former Republican President to the podium, the Democrats sent in the big dog, Bubba.
Yes, he made his argument brilliantly and broke it down using easy to understand thoughtful prose that often sounded like poetry and sometimes sounded like wise old Uncle Bill sitting down at the dinner table conversation.
Bill Clinton's speech mattered because he made a very important group of people think and think twice. It made many of those Bill Clinton voters, union voters and senior citizen voters out there who refuse to vote for President Obama because of his foreign middle name, his secret religion, his mythical Kenyan citizenship or his indemonstrable hatred of the country of which he leads, take another look.
Do you believe Sean Hannity or do you believe Bill Clinton? Do you believe Rush Limbaugh or do you believe the president who made the economy soar? Do you believe Fox News or do you believe the guy who has been there and done that? The cost of ignorance in this election could be very high.
What he was able to do was demonstrate that Obama's solutions are not fascist or European, but rather they are FDR solutions, Kennedy solutions and of course Bill Clinton solutions. Keynesian economics, universal health care, a focus on education, the environment and civil rights does not represent a fascist agenda, it represents the Clinton, Kennedy and FDR agenda. These are not anti-American ideas, they are entirely American ideas that have been rooted in the Democratic party for generations.
Certainly the speech made an impact, but when Bill Clinton looked at the camera and said with all the passion and sincerity he could muster, "Folks, whether the American people believe what I just said or not may be the whole election. I just want you to know that I believe it. With all my heart, I believe it." he may have once again demonstrated his incredible ability to persuade voters, win an election and send and keep a Democrat in the White House.
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