September 5, 2012

The one Democrat speech that matters

Last night Michelle Obama performed well in her speech.  There was a host of other unimportant speeches.  The Anne Romney speech and the Michelle Obama speech both served their purposes, both spoke well enough, neither was a game changer, though I think Anne Romney's speech may have done a little more good for her husband.  But there really is only one Democratic speech that matters - more than anyone's, even Barack Obama's.  I'm speaking of course of Bill Clinton's speech tonight.

Obama's speech has been minimized.  In terms of his effect, he's really going to be preaching to the choir and a small subset of undecided voters.  Just like Mitt Romney's speech it was not a game changer, neither will Obama's be. It won't change a lot of minds, even if the press exalts it, which you know they will.  Obama will get more of a bounce than Romney - they'll make sure of that.  But it will still be small.

The real potential to change the game lies with Bill Clinton. He can make things really bad for Obama, or he could make things marginally better or even more for the president if he can convince people that he and Obama are cut from the same centrist cloth (for the record, I do not believe Clinton was a centrist, he was pragmatic and also benefited from the existence of one Ross Perot).  If Clinton can carry off that message, and he actually is better at connecting with voters than president Obama, then it might swing the election.

I don't think he'll pull it off, but his is still the only speech I'm interested in because I'm curious to see if there are some subtle back-handed compliments for the president.  Whether Hillary Clinton wants back in the White House or not, I'm sure Bill does.  Bill has his own agenda and it points to 2016.  It probably won't be evident in his speech but it could be there in some subtle ways.

And for this I might have to miss some of the NFL season open tonight.  Oh wait, Clinton won't matter either.

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