CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBSNewYork) — It was a show of political power Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
President Barack Obama made a surprise appearance on the main stage, standing alongside former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton made the case for the current commander-in-chief’s record in office by highlighting Obama’s effort in creating jobs, restructuring the auto industry and health care.
“I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside,” Clinton said. He ended his speech, saying “we have to re-elect President Barack Obama.”
Clinton, the Democratic Party’s rock star, was very frank in his address, saying “the most important question is what kind of country do you want to live in?”
The former president, beloved by Democrats because he left the country with a surplus and created 23 million jobs, wasted no time in answering that question, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
“If you want a your-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility — a we’re-all-in-this-together society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden,” Clinton said.
Clinton also pinned the blame for the nation’s failing economy on former President George W. Bush, not Obama.
“He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant businesses and lots of new wealth for the innovators,” Clinton said.
In fact, Clinton said under Obama “condition are improving,” stating that “No president — not me or any of my predecessors — could have repaired all the damage in just four years.”
Clinton also made the case that America is better off now then when the Obama took office.
“President Obama’s approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction America must take to build a 21st century version of the American Dream in a nation of shared opportunities, shared prosperity and shared responsibilities,” Clinton said.
But before Clinton’s speech, there was also a stunning development that was beyond embarrassing for the Democrats. Strong pressure forced party ideologues to hold a platform changing session to add a mention of “God” and declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, CBS 2’s Kramer reported.
Convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, needed to take three separate votes to get the motion passed and he was booed when he ruled it in.
Obama campaign officials said the president personally intervened to change the two planks on God and Jerusalem, but this only came after there was strong opposition from church groups and many New Yorkers.
Meanwhile, the DNC had to move the president’s acceptance speech Thursday from an outdoor football stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena, which can accommodate 50,000 fewer people.