Democratic voters got a double whammy last night as Bill Clinton and Joe Biden took the convention stage in Denver.
Former President Clinton went first, urging his wife Hillary’s supporters to back Barack Obama‘s candidacy. If anyone can convince people to do something, it’s Bill Clinton.
The most compelling component, we thought, were the times Clinton directly said Obama’s ready to lead, like this line: 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.” That’s a far cry from a recent interview in which Clinton said it could be argued no one’s ready to lead the nation. Pundits and critics took that as a jab against Obama, whom Clinton disdained for the at-times bitter primary battle.
Hoping to quell Republican attacks against Obama, who’s forty-six, Clinton pointed out that the youth card had also been used to smear his 1992 candidacy:
…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.
Clinton also used his time to blast the Republicans, but not once did he explicitly name John McCain as the enemy.
Biden, however, definitely used his time to take on the presumptive Republican nominee. Accepting his party’s nomination for the vice-presidential spot, an obviously honored Biden told the cheering crowd, “America cannot afford four more years of this…Again and again, on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama was proven right.” The Senator, who was introduced by his son, told viewers that America’s been brought its knees over the past eight years. Now, he said, is time for the nation to rise again, “Millions of Americans have been knocked down. And this is the time as Americans together we get back up, back up together.”
It’s hard to follow Bill Clinton, one of the greatest orators in the country, but Biden proved last night that he’s got the chops to do the job. Should he be elected, of course.
Here’s Clinton’s speech…