Crowley on Clinton:
...that was full-throated, sincere-sounding, and sophisticated case for his wife's former mortal rival. He didn't even mount a touchy retroactive defense of his record fom the 1990s, which I had somewhat expected. I predict a wave of, "Oh, Bill, how can we stay mad at you?" commentary in the coming days.
I was feeling sorry for John Kerry having to follow Bill Clinton in the speaking lineup, but he electrified the audience as I have never seen him do before. As Scherer just said to me: Zell Miller without the mean.
Bill Clinton gave two speeches tonight. He closed with the stronger one, namely that the GOP doesn't deserve to be rewarded for the past 8 years. That argument works because it's fundamentally true in many ways. But he began with a speech endorsing Barack Obama, and that was, well, embarrassing...What he showed tonight is that even one of the best salesmen in the Democratic Party can't make the case for President Obama.
Bill Clinton's speech rightfully grabbed attention, but John Kerry's appearance--interrupted by a commercial break on CNN--was the best stab the Democrats have taken towards establishing something they've desperately needed: A master narrative for understanding John McCain.
It was striking that Bill Clinton never uttered the words "John McCain." Four years ago, that steady insistence on retaining the robes of the presidency, levitating an inch or two above the fray, made sense. It was Clinton choosing a particular, and honorable, path that forever defined him as an ex-president rather than an ex-candidate. But after heatedly involving himself in the Democratic primary, after often attacking Barack Obama by name, it seemed peculiar that he would hold that portion of himself in reserve. Four years ago, Clinton wasn't a campaigner. This year, he was.
John Kerry is whining. He isn’t helping Obama. He just used “swift-boating” as a verb. Now he’s droning on about having been criticized as an anti-war protestor. [sic] They should have kept him as far away from a podium as possible.
Bill Clinton gave the strongest, most compelling, and persuasive political speech of this entire season. He has upstaged Biden, but that doesn’t matter...Here is a sign that things don’t look promising: as soon as the speech was over, Sean Hannity of Fox News started whining about why Clinton was not staying for Obama’s Thursday night speech. This is a speech that needs to be refuted, not complained about.