As former President Bill Clinton took the stage, the moment of Democratic unity that so many have been waiting to see occurred, the long standing ovation Clinton got sent the message that the primary battle is forgotten, and all Democrats are behind Barack Obama.
Clinton started off by endorsing Obama/Biden, “I am honored to be here tonight to support Barack Obama. And to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden, though as you’ll soon see, he doesn’t need any help from me. I love Joe Biden, and America will too. What a year we Democrats have had. The primary began with an all-star line up and came down to two remarkable Americans locked in a hard fought contest to the very end. The campaign generated so much heat it increased global warming.”
President Clinton masterfully laid out case for Obama, “Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she’ll do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. That makes two of us. Actually that makes 18 million of us – because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November. Here’s why. Our nation is in trouble on two fronts: The American Dream is under siege at home, and America’s leadership in the world has been weakened.”
He used his experience as a way of vouching for Obama, “Clearly, the job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America’s standing in the world. Everything I learned in my eight years as President and in the work I’ve done since, in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.”
Mr. Clinton made it clear that he thinks Obama is ready to lead, “Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States.” Clinton then laid out why Obama/Biden is the right choice on all of the issues.”
He also spoke about the Republican failures and said that McCain promises more of the same, “They took us from record surpluses to an exploding national debt; from over 22 million new jobs down to 5 million; from an increase in working family incomes of $7,500 to a decline of more than $2,000; from almost 8 million Americans moving out of poverty to more than 5 and a half million falling into poverty – and millions more losing their health insurance. Now, in spite of all the evidence, their candidate is promising more of the same: More tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that will swell the deficit, increase inequality, and weaken the economy. More band-aids for health care that will enrich insurance companies, impoverish families and increase the number of uninsured. More going it alone in the world, instead of building the shared responsibilities and shared opportunities necessary to advance our security and restore our influence.”
Clinton compared his 1992 campaign to Barack Obama, My fellow Democrats, sixteen years ago, you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity. Together, we prevailed in a campaign in which the Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be Commander-in-Chief. Sound familiar? It didn’t work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it won’t work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.”
“Barack Obama will lead us away from division and fear of the last eight years back to unity and hope. If, like me, you still believe America must always be a place called Hope, then join Hillary, Chelsea and me in making Senator Barack Obama the next President of the United States,” Clinton concluded.
Bill Clinton delivered the endorsement that not only he could deliver, but it was an endorsement that he had to deliver. With one swoop, Bill Clinton rehabbed his own image within the Democratic Party, and gave Obama the serious hard sell. I think we can now put the idea to bed that the Democratic Party is somehow fractured. The bar has now been set really, really, high for Obama tomorrow night.