We saw the first team tonight. It is hard to look at Bill Clinton without remembering the flaws that ruined his legacy, but on this night, he reminded us of his mastery of rhetoric and his ability to make the perfect closing argument. The highlight of the speech came when he said, “Sixteen years ago you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory. The Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander in chief. [pause] Sound familiar? It didn’t work in 1992 because we were on the right side of history, and it won’t work now.” This turned out to be something of a rope-a-dope ploy, because Hillary, who herself had made that criticism, did not defend Obama on that point last night, and the Republicans rushed to make that point on late night television last night. Now here comes Bill off the ropes to deliver the counterpunch.
I have been pretty critical of this convention, but I have to say, as we see the script unfold, that the Democrats have produced some good theater. The audience was on the edge of their seats to see if Hillary was sincere in endorsing Obama, and the suspense was there. We couldn’t really tell, yes or no, and Michelle wasn’t smiling. And then tonight, Bill delivered his lines perfectly. And he had Michelle, you could see it on her face. So the great drama of the convention, whether the Clintons would sabotage Obama, has been resolved. Obama has to like the way this convention has developed. And I confess to being surprised.