Clinton is pounding Democratic values and virtues with lovable ease. He made mincemeat of the "You didn't build that" crap with the Strauss quote, and warmed to independents with his own I-never-learned-to-hate Republicans line. He's delivering an unmitigated appeal to the white middle, but again, I'm skeptical that it will work. But that sure as hell doesn't mean Clinton shouldn't try.
Boom. There it went. The unabashed kick-off to Hillary's 2016 campaign.
"There they go again"--a brilliant deployment of a classic Reaganism to wrap up a nice primer on Republican economics. And as for that other Reaganism, "Are you better off?" You bet your ass.
A devastating assault on the miserable conditions inherited by Obama, graciously acknowledged by Clinton as the principal difference between his second campaign, in '96, and the current president's. Obama's tenure will be recognized by future historians, I'm confident, as one strikingly, frighteningly similar to FDR's. Clinton won't quite say that--for delicate reasons of presidential comparisons--but it's the truth.
Now for a badly needed primer on "Obamacare." Unfortunately, this is a minefield of policy complexity that won't become clear--or be loved--until it takes full effect. Only then will low-information voters realize the bogeymen weren't real.
Good old solid ridicule of Paul Ryan. Perfect. Just perfect. And, lethally, the end of Medicare as we know it. And "we ... can't ... let ... that ... happen." Campaign slogans don't get any more Democratic than that.
Best line of the night: Speaking of the Romney campaign's open refusal to abide by facts, "Finally I can say, 'That is true.' "
Clinton is an absolute master of the soundbite. He's delivering a complete package of ready-made media clips for weeks to come. His critique of duplicitous supply-side economics is priceless, and it'll be one of those clips, but ... even from a good old boy from Arkansas, arithmetic doesn't trump racism. And that, tragically, is what Clinton's appearance was meant to combat, but can't.
Elizabeth Warren, a populist intellectual. That's practically an oxymoron. But somehow she pulls it off. She assuredly lacks the charisma of Obama, yet she possesses the same Harvard Law mind that knows how not to talk down to voters. Should she lose to the manifestly slippery, Wall Street-lathered Scott Brown--in Massachusetts--it'll be a loss studied by political scientists for years.
Sandra Fluke's entirely accurate criticism of Romney for being so gutless in the face of his party's extreme "voices" is one of the more authentically horrifying aspects of that man. I realize he must pander to an exceptionally fragile base, but any pol willing to sell his soul for the sake of high office is most definitely a pol whose affliction on the nation no one deserves.
Romney isn't just Nixon II. He's Nixon times two.
Déjà vu. Flashbacks. Bad trip. Lawrence O'Donnell asked Gov. Deval Patrick about running for the presidency in 2016, which Patrick laughed off. The primary battles could be brutal, even though Hillary is assumed to have a lock on this thing. I'd love to see it broken, though, mostly because the idea of three years of a another Clinton candidacy and all the wretchedly familiar GOP attacks is almost too much to bear.
The evening's main events open with actual news. The president will be visiting the convention hall tonight, reportedly to hear Bill Clinton's speech, the bubbling excitement over which still has me bewildered.
Will Clinton deliver a barnburner? Of course. Will he check all the anticipated boxes? Of course. Will he assist in Hillary's presidential pursuit of 2016? Of course. Will he attract one solitary vote this November for Barack Obama? Five'll get you ten he does not. Clinton's coveted "base"--working-class white males--has never been an Obama natural and that won't change because Clinton stands at a podium and raises the rafters. It doesn't help that the Cowboys will be bloodied and humiliated by the Giants tonight, on NBC, which virtually every working-class white male will be watching instead.
(Whoops, sorry--I had the Packers substituting for the Giants for a moment.)