I watched most of Clinton’s speech last night. Here is the video from PBS, it’s 50 minutes long:
In a nutshell:
Clinton shorter: Free shit, evil congress, blame bush, need more time, buncha made up facts. I’m awesome. #dnc2012
— Lady Liberty 1885 (@LadyLiberty1885) September 6, 2012
A lot of people are talking about how clever it is, but I think they underestimate just how clever. Even Krauthammer says it was “a gaint swing and a miss“. Yes, on purpose. Dick Morris thinks Clinton was playing good lawyer to a guilty client:
In his obvious inability to win the argument, Clinton showed us how weak it is. As he recited his statistics, we came to understand how hollow they are. Is this all he can say about Obama’s record we all asked?
That was the whole point.
I predicted that either Party Line Towing Clinton would show up or Rogue Billy would show up. I was right. We got both. Clinton ad libbed a lot of his speech and I believe that was on purpose to get around those who had previewed his remarks. I think some of his enthusiasm was real — when talking about his own accomplishments. His speech ran so long mainly because polishing his ego in a speech takes slightly longer than Obama’s.
Here’s what I think happened: He got up there and set Obama up by lying a little more convincingly than than Team Obama has. He did so because he knows Obama has to go and his party has to focus on keeping the Senate. Clinton is one of the most talented lying liars there is and they don’t call him Slick Willy for nothing.
Here’s why I think that:
1. He tipped us off on the mode of attack for the next 60 days.
Obama’s going to actually run against Congress more than Romney. Nearly all of Obama’s attacks on Romney have boomeranged back at him. Obama needs a bad guy. Why not the only people with lower approval ratings than himself? Obama will paint them as utterly inflexible and that Romney/Ryan will be more of the same. The stress Clinton put on his attack on Congress was a dog whistle to his party faithful; concentrate on keeping the Senate and trying to retake the House – forget the Oval. Clinton also cleverly contrasted Obama and Romney by attacking Congress and their ‘lack of cooperation’. I think Clinton knows it’s amateur hour with Obama whose flexibility can be summarized with “I won”, whereas Romney has proven on multiple stages how he works well with others to get things done. Subtle and slick.
2. Clinton repeated just about every debunked lie and talking point this campaign and party has generated so far.
This was done on purpose. It had to be. Clinton is far smarter than to leave the keynote speech wide open for fact checking attacks. He wants the lies highlighted again. Note he mentions Obama by name when launching into one of said lies – this is on purpose. He even dog whistled to the Fact Checkers:
Now let’s look at the Republican charge that President Obama wants to weaken the work requirements in the welfare reform bill I signed that moved millions of people from welfare to work.
Here’s what happened. When some Republican governors asked to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama Administration said they would only do it if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20%. You hear that? More work. So the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform’s work requirement is just not true. But they keep running ads on it. As their campaign pollster said “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” Now that is true. I couldn’t have said it better myself – I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad.
Clinton knows Obama just gutted one of his signature pieces. What better way to get back at him than flinging the “where are the jobs” doors by waving at the fact checkers. The 13 and counting GOP jobs bills languishing in the Senate will then become center stage and the question will be back on Obama: Where are the jobs??
Clinton even dragged in the $716 Billion Medicare claim on Ryan, ad libbing that it took balls on Ryan’s part to bring up something he had in his own plan:
When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama’s “biggest coldest power play” in raiding Medicare, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. You see, that 716 billion dollars is exactly the same amount of Medicare savings Congressman Ryan had in his own budget.
That ad lib opened another door for fact checkers to re-hash: Ryan’s plan uses cuts to extend solvency, not move the money to something new like Obamacare. A stark difference and one Obama has not been successful in defending.
3. Playing up the GM bailout.
That was dicey as Hell given then news coming out of GM these days in delays on the Volt and the people are well aware it cost them $35 billion. It’s really the only big ‘win’ Obama can point to and it’s a specific win in that those involved with the auto industry are over the Moon about it. Clinton crowed the 250k jobs created from the bailout, ignoring the 23 million unemployed, while throwing a stone at Romney:
Now there are 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than the day the companies were restructured. Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. So here’s another jobs score: Obama two hundred and fifty thousand, Romney, zero.
Romney, given the fact GM is still faltering, was RIGHT. Romney needs to pick up that stone and throw it back. Again, I think Clinton did this on purpose.
Updates: I think Michelle Obama’s Mirror saw some of what I did.