Today's Video Link
When Bill Clinton gave his big speech at the Democratic Convention, I watched and enjoyed it in the context of something that would help "my guy" win. I also downloaded it to my harddisk.
The other day, I came across that download, started to just watch the beginning…and 50 minutes later, had watched the whole thing. With no election outcome in doubt, it was a very different and in many ways, more extraordinary bit of communication. Leaving aside who he is and what he did as president (much of which I liked), he really is a great speechmaker, a breed that is in short supply. There are a lot of politicians out there I'd gladly vote for but I have no desire to listen to them talk. Former President Clinton's spouse and his former running mate are two of them.
Listening to this now, I was struck by how measured it was. I thought of a hundred places where he could have stuck the knife deeper into Romney but didn't. He sounded passionate. He sounded humble. He did not say that if Mitt Romney is elected, America is doomed or that the opposition ticket is not comprised of decent human beings. He just explained his point of view without being condescending. That was one of my many problems with George W. Bush. He acted like he found it an annoyance to go out and talk to The People…and he explained things to them/us like they/we were small, uneducated children.
Clinton is so natural that when there was one audience shot (you'll see it in there) that showed his words on the TelePrompter, it reminded me that he wasn't speaking extemporaneously and that he uses one. I knew it but he was so "at ease" up there that he made me forget.
So here's Bill Clinton doing what he does so well. If you don't have time to watch the whole fifty minutes, move the slider to 39:20 and just watch the last ten minutes. You can find a thousand "Why Romney Lost" explanations out there, most of them probably valid to some degree. I think the biggie is the stuff Clinton explains so well here: The math in Romney's plan was vague and it didn't add up. No matter what Mitt said the last few weeks, everyone knew that he was going to make sure that rich people paid less at a time when the country can't afford that and his explanation that he would make up for it via loophole-closing was not believed. Listen as William Jefferson Clinton shows you how to make a political speech…