CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBSNewYork) — As President Barack Obama prepared Thursday to take the stage to accept his party’s nomination, people were still buzzing about former President Bill Clinton’s opening act.
Forgive the parochialism, but it was a New York resident who electrified the Democratic National Convention and made the case for giving Obama another chance, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
“No one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years,” Clinton said Wednesday night.
It was Clinton at his best – passionate, logical and even funny as he made the case for ending the dysfunction in Washington by touting Obama’s ability to reach out across the aisle and to his political enemies in order to govern.
“Heck, he even appointed Hillary,” Clinton said to laughter.
Clinton’s mission was to pin the blame for the nation’s failing economy on former President George W. Bush.
“[Obama] inherited a deeply damaged economy. He put a floor under the crash. He 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.
Hofstra University professor Larry Levy said the former president — and Chappaqua resident — did a terrific job in nominating Obama for a second term.
“Clinton was a good cop and bad cop all in one,” Levy said. “Clinton provided the best springboard he could. He laid out the case in the most personal and conversational terms. There are people saying ‘did you hear what Bill Clinton said about things getting better?’ Maybe they are. Maybe they are better than we think.”
Republicans had the following view:
“I think he’s the best orator the country’s ever had,” Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island said. “But he is salesman and he can couch an argument as good as anyone can. It just wasn’t completely truthful, not honest math. Arithmetic will show everyone that the numbers don’t add up.”
Democrats, of course, saw things differently.
“Nobody does it better and I think that if every American watched that speech the election would be over,” Sen. Charles Schumer said.
“He brought New York and America to the point where we now recognize why this election is so important — the thing about Clinton getting up and reminding people about the economy, about future prosperity and he elevates the president because he talks about what’s real,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said.
“He gave us a record to run for,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney added.
So, next up is the president’s turn to make his pitch to the American people. Then he’ll have to wait to see if they buy it.
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