Convention 2012: How Bill Clinton Should Introduce Obama

A republican speechwriter lends Bill Clinton a hand on his Democratic Convention speech

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Pete Souza / White House

President Barack Obama talks with former President Bill Clinton backstage after an Obama Victory Fund Broadway concert at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York, N.Y., June 4, 2012.

We’re still waiting to learn who will join Mitt Romney on stage at the GOP convention as his vice presidential running mate, but we’ve got the former Presidents sorted out: George W. Bush chose not to attend the Republican National Convention, and Bill Clinton will have a starring role at the Democrats’ gathering, placing Barack Obama’s name in nomination on Wednesday night. Since President Bush won’t need my services, I thought in the spirit of bipartisan outreach, I’d draft a speech for President Clinton.

(MORE: Who Should Romney Pick as Vice President?)

“My fellow Democrats, I’m speaking to you tonight from 12 years on the other side of the bridge to the 21st century. It’s great to be here. It’s really great to be here. I’ve missed you. I’ve really missed you. I’ve missed the balloons and the pomp and the adoring crowds. I can tell you like me. You really, really like me.  [PAUSE FOR LENGTHY APPLAUSE]

“Twelve years ago we stood at the foot of that bridge, looking ahead to the 21st century, and things looked good. We were coming off the longest economic expansion in the history of our country. We’d created 22 million new jobs. Home ownership was the highest in American history, and unemployment was the lowest in 30 years. Makes the last four years look really… lame. Record deficits, unemployment over 8%, no jobs, home foreclosures, what kind of record is that? Tonight, I look back across that bridge and think, what the hell happened?

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“Back when we were building that bridge, America’s future seemed bright. I rose above partisan gridlock and found a place called triangulation, right in the political center, passing free trade, overhauling welfare to reward work, and making republicans pay for shutting down the government.

“The only thing we didn’t get was health care. I have to hand it to President Obama for getting that done. He made a royal mess of it though; Hillary’s would have been much better. Come to think of it, everything about Hillary would have been better.

“During our time at the White House, we oversaw one of the greatest surges ever of American prosperity and innovation. [HOLD FOR APPLAUSE] But enough about me.

(MORE: What History Tells Us About Obama’s Chances)

“I need to level with you about why you shouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney. He won’t release his taxes. And I just can’t stand not knowing whether the underwear he gave to charity were worth more than mine. By the way, I didn’t really mean it when I said he had a sterling business career. Got to admire the way he turned around so many failing companies, though. By the way, I know how business works. Those small business owners, it was their sweat and tears that built their businesses, not the government’s — and they shouldn’t let anyone else get away with stealing credit.

“My fellow democrats, I have one job to do tonight, and it’s a big one, but I’m ready. I’m leaner than you’ve seen me in years. After my heart attack, I quit the McDonald’s runs and spent more time on the treadmill. I’ve never been in better shape. I know I’m supposed to stand on this stage and nominate Barack Obama, but I’ve always done what’s best for my party and my country. My fellow Democrats: I’m rested, I’m ready, I’m yours.” [PUMP FISTS AS BALLOONS DROP]

MORE: Obama vs. Romney: Who Will the Economy and How?

24 comments
formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Karen, you are more inept at writing speeches for President Clinton than you were writing for President Bush.  

So just stay with your previous gig in the failed administration and tell us what Bush would say if they weren't ashamed to have him (and probably you) there in Tampa.

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

Is this the Karen Hughes that I was forced to analyze and re-anlayze her role in the Florida elections and Supreme Court ruling??? I hope not because it made that course tedious and very difficult to write in an objective manner.  That Ms. Hughes was responsible for most of the butterfly ballot and chad chaos, that unfolded under her watch in Florida.  That Hughes person will forever go down in legal history in the minds of scholars of that Bush V. Gore case,  as the singular most partisan and damaging individual that contributed to a fracturing in 2000 of the electoral process.

Anyhow, this article was so mediocre it was silly. Is the writer trying to imply that Romney DOES NOT OWE the American people an insight into the way he has run his personal accounts and monies as would be evinced in his taxes? Romney is running on only ONE issue, and yet, despite the misrepresentations about the contents of his taxes when he ran for governorship in MA, we should take him at his word. 

I don't know if this article which appears to launch an apoplectic attack on rationality belongs to this magazine. We would rather read from people who have more respect for our intellect than to suggest that all Romney has in his taxes that would be relevant are his underwear or contributions to charity??? What is that about? We need to know how our president runs his financial affairs. I know his accountants are working on how they can release more, but all that doctoring and delay is telling. Romney started running for the office of presidency 7 years ago. He should have prepared, modified and released his taxes. Yes, modified. That is what he is doing. 

Romney is running for the highest political office in the world. All we know about him is what he says and claims. He is running on the "I am not Obama platform", and hopes that no one will ask about his own achievements. A stellar business man? Yes, but he is no job creator and did nothing for us in MA. Many professionals had to leave for NY and NJ because we had NO jobs.  Yes, Romney wants us to put him in a position because he says he is not Obama and can translate his venture capitalist experience into jobs, something he could not do in our small state of MA?

This article by Ms. Hughes is not just pedestrian but an assault on our intellect. If Hughes were hiring for a highly sensitive job in her organization, would she not vet the candidate on more than just one year or two of tax returns? Would she not look at the so called skills the candidate possesses and see how it translates to the essential functions of the job? Would she fire an incumbent based on the word of some applicant? Do people think Americans are really so emotive and foolish??

Well, Romney is running for the highest political office in the world. His past record does not show that he has capacity to do anything except make money for the rich. And his venture capitalist experience does not transfer into job creation, no matter how many times he is praised for making money for others and himself.

What will Clinton say about Obama?  He will tell the truth. Obama has done the best he could with the hands he was given. In 8-years George  W. in a great economy created only 3 million jobs. Clinton's economy was no where as bad as the one Obama inherited, and he did well.

Obama, no matter the negative chatter pulled us out from under the hell of a financial melt down and the Wild Wall street, deregulated and wild.  And tell you what, I rather wait and see his policies come into fruition that fritter mt vote away on Romney just because he says he is not Obama!

And you Ms. Hughes should save these sorts of articles for when you have the ladies over for tea and jello shots. :) I will be willing to attend so long as you are not the same woman whose intent and acts took months of my time in Grad school, analyzing and determining its impact on the eventual outcome of the case.

http://blackrepublicanandmywor...        

protank
protank

Is Clinton running? Oh, He is a talking head for Obama. I though Joe had that job, or was it dirty Harry?

mnominous
mnominous

The problem is we don't have time for that. Things are pretty bad and we can't have more of the same.

mnominous
mnominous

I respect your point of view.  Better than being called moron by some here.  In any case, I totally agree with you that Bush had a different country than Obama when taking office. However, one question: If you have a leak in the roof of your house. Someone comes and promises to fix it for a specified amount of dollars, then he doesn't fix it asks you for more money and blames the previous guy for how bad the leak was, do you open your wallet and say, sure, go ahead?

Also, Bush was 100% responsible for the state of the economy under his watch and yet Obama is not?  I don't get that.

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

Agree with the other posters....   a complete waste of time.

Victoria
Victoria

That would be a tough job introducing the WORST, MOST INEPT, GREAT DIVIDER, CAMPAIGNER, COMMIE in CHIEF!  But then again, Bubba can lie with a straight face!

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

"The views expressed are solely her [Karen Hughes']  own."

Because NO ONE else agrees with them or would take credit for them or thinks they are clever.

Aron White
Aron White

Failed attempt at political humor and satire.  Comes across as shameless plug for the GOP agenda.

mnominous
mnominous

The question you democrats should be asking yourselves is "Do you love Obama to your

own detriment?" No question Obama is very eloquent. Granted that he is a shroud campaigner. Granted that he talks very presidential. Granted that he is very smart. He is commanding too. But, he is also a failure as president creating jobless rates above 8%, unable to fix the economy and irresponsible (doesn't take responsibility for the states of the economy always blaming the previous president or the next). You may hate Bush, but Bush never run from responsibility. I never heard him drilling in the media that it was Bill Clinton's fault.

Obama is a very smart guy. And in my opinion he is not incompetent. The reason why he being unable to fix the economy has nothing to do with his competency or intelligence. It has to do with his ideology. Democrats, back when Bill Clinton was president, believed in the American way, believed that being successful was a good thing, if you succeeded out of your own sweat, everybody used to admire you. And all of this was while Europeans were embracing socialism. Now, Obama is making it shameful to be successful, makes it ok to look at success with contempt. Brings socialistic views pushing them with the help of the media demonizing and caricaturizing opponents to shove Socialism upon us. Even to the point of flatly lying on TV.

What is socialism? Socialism is an ideology that feeds on anger and envy. Socialism doesn't produce jobs, it takes a way from those who have more. Socialism promotes the flawed idea that government is more efficient at creating jobs than private enterprise. Socialism doesn't remove the disparity in wealth in the country, it only makes the super-wealthy wealthier and everybody else poor. Socialism doesn't help the lower class make more money, they throw a bunch of government programs and taxes at poor people driving them deeper into poverty.

When Obama came on TV and said that my or anybody else's success isn't due to our own effort, his statement is prove to the fact that he is angry, very angry and jealous at those who have more, he is envious of those who succeed. Bill Clinton, whom I personally admire never promoted such defeatist ideas.

Now you democrats are willing to give him a pass for his failed economy. You, who were

so quick to judge Bush for the state of the economy, now give a pass to Obama.

Haven't you learned yet from history that choosing a leader based on charisma is a danger endeavor?

God save us all, not from Obama, but from Democrats so blinded by your love and admiration of the man.

Douug
Douug

I have read Time for YEARS and this was the dumbest thing I've ever seen on this website. I'm an independent voter and this hackery makes me want to vote Obama.

Urbanitus
Urbanitus

After wasting my time reading this, I ask myself...why is this posted on TIME's website?  What does this possibly bring to any conversation?  

TIME and Ms. Hughes should leave the mocking to The Onion, and spend more time trying to raise the level of debate in this country.  

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

The most important thing Clinton can say is to remind voters what the economy was like under George W. Bush, and then to show them that the economy under Mitt Romney will be more of the same, except worse.

AshMat
AshMat

No Bush only became responsible in his second term. Happy to extend the same level of responsibility to President Obama.

AshMat
AshMat

I don't love the man and I admire him only to some extent. I violently disagree with some of his policies on rendition, prosecuting whistleblowers, lack of a public option in obamacare. But as I said earlier, I'm more than happy to hold him to account for his record after 8 years because I didn't judge Ush for his economic record till the end of his term (though I did judge him for the debacle in Iraq but that's a different story).

Man
Man

Morron

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

You may hate Bush, but Bush never run from responsibility.

Are you talking about the same Bush who said that he never made a mistake? Even after the debacles in Iraq, Katrina, and the financial collapse of 2008? Comedy Central is calling you.

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

There isn't enough room in Crawford for all the Bush hacks to hide under the sagebrush, so they spill out into the media every now and then. Like you, I wish they would go away. If I had done to America what they did, I would be ashamed to show my face in public. Unfortunately, they seem to have no shame.

mnominous
mnominous

Is that what you got to say? Moron?  I feel sorry for people like you that don't use reason but insult. Goes to prove that Democrats don't really have a case.  You are lost.

mnominous
mnominous

Claiming he didn't make mistake isn't blaming the prevoius president.  Is a difference in views on interpretations of the outcome.

Look, back then, the neo-cons (who have being demonized since) said something everyone else forgot now. They said, topple one middle east dictatorship and turn it into a democracy and the rest will fall like dominoes. Remember?

Everybody today says that Bush was a m***n and the he got us in a mess in Iraq. But everyone is quiet about the effects his invasion of Iraq had on the rest of the middle east just like neo-cons prophesized.

Look, the media is messy, very messy because it distorts reality by shoving gazillion quick minute facts at people not giving us time to analyze whether what's happening is truly good or not. Only history can tell. The media is using persuation by insulting politians whom they oppose as supposed to using convincing ideas (Persuation: If you vote for Mitt Romney you are a m***n.  Convincing: The economy is doing bad, don't we need change?  See the difference?)

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

Wow, where to start....  Bush was handed a country with a good economy, a surplus and the world economy was relatively stable.  Obama was handed a country crashing into economic chaos, a huge deficit, all economic levers pulled and most of the world economy failing.  See the difference?

With regard to the Arab Spring, I think you could make as good an argument that Bush's invasion had nothing to do with a young man setting him self on fire and all the events that have followed.  What's more, we don't get much news these days about how our trillion dollar investment in Iraq is doing.  From recent bombings it sounds like things aren't so good.  Iraq might hold together in name but I'm still feeling that a defacto three way partition will be the end result.

Man
Man

Morron