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.

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“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.

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“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]

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