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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clinton's knockout speech at Democratic National Convention

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 6:28 AM

Bill Clinton just about broke Twitter last night with an unending stream of superlatives for his Democratic National Convention nominating speech. The sputtering Republican responses were of the sort the exploded coyote gives when the Roadrunner has dropped another bundle of dynamite on him.

If you missed it, catch the replay on video above. UPDATE: Here, too, is The Atlantic's marvelous deconstruction of how Clinton improved the prepared text with on-the-fly ad libs.

I can't help but note the tweet from columnist John Brummett, a professional grump not often given to unqualified superlatives:

let me be careful not to overstate: best speech i ever heard. instructive, authoritative, measured, impassioned, true.

Clinton's command of the facts and his ability to translate them to simple terms was no surprise. Humor and folksiness — example: he comes from Arkansas where 2 plus 2 still equal four — didn't hurt.

Ezra Klein on the wonk-in-chief:

“People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets,” former President Bill Clinton said on Wednesday night. “What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic.”

Klein said Clinton's explanation of the peril that the Romney-Ryan plan holds for Medicaid was the most important part of his talk. Clinton made clear that they'll slash that spending, that it will hurt seniors and that it's a bedrock difference between Democratic and Republican approaches. (We saw this again yesterday in Arkansas, where Republicans, led by Rep. Bruce Westerman, were slavering to slash Medicaid. I wish Clinton had been on hand at the legislative committee meeting to instruct Westerman as he spoke out of every corner of his mouth about sustaining Medicaid services without tax increases or service cuts while insisting the feds could pick up the added cost — despite his belief that Arkansas shouldn't take expanded Medicaid money — and while endorsing a national approach to slashing overall Medicaid spending at the federal level. Less is less, Rep. Westerman. 2 plus 2 still equals 4, not 10.)

I want to put a plug in for the DNC undercard last night, from the self-made Elizabeth Warren to Sandra Fluke, the brainy and articulate woman who became the object of unending Republican abuse after she objected to being excluded from a Republican congressional show hearing on medical services for women. One of the Arkansas Republican Taliban grumped repeatedly about Fluke on Twitter last night, suggesting that she was an extremist who made the Tea Party look sane.

Some extremist. Her issue was availability of birth control pills and other contraceptive services. For this, Limbaugh and the rest of the Republican attack machine branded her a slut.

I'd like Democratic chances a lot if the election was only about whether women should have access to, and insurance coverage for, birth control pills.

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