Former President Bill Clinton might be the most likable, effective politician of our generation. His speech performance at last week’s Democratic National Convention made President Barack Obama’s seem mediocre.
Clinton has always been charming and good with words, but there is something more he does that not many other politicians have mastered: He can spit a narrative that is easy to follow and hard on facts.
Most politicians can do one or the other, but not both. Obama was only able to tell a narrative at his convention speech—big on rhetoric, light on facts. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney only seemed to speak in bumper sticker language.
Clinton has an ability to tell the story using facts in a way that shows Americans how it applies to them, and he still possesses a southern drawl that makes me comfortable with inviting him in for dinner and a living room chat.
Students can learn something from the way Clinton delivers his message. Not only did he present persuasive facts and connect the dots for his audience at the convention speech, he also presented the opposition’s argument. Of course, after presenting the Republican’s side, he dissected it and explained why their ideas are bad policy for America. In this case, it was simple math.
Clinton said the Republican’s argument was something like, “We left him [Obama] a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.”
The former president might not be on the ballot in November, but his presence yields positive feelings from the country. There will always be that faction of the Republicans who hate Clinton, but they would also crucify Jesus for preaching about clothing the homeless and helping the needy. Luckily, that faction only makes up 90 percent of the Republican Party.
Americans remember good economic times under Clinton: Taxes were higher on the rich, jobs were plentiful and there was a general sense that our country was heading in the right direction. Let us hope Americans see Romney’s plan for the U.S. stinks. As Clinton said, the math just does not add up.