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Bill to Barack’s defence

world Updated: Sep 06, 2012 23:57 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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Former US President Bill Clinton is known as a policy wonk who can explain the most complicated issues in everyday language. He delivered for Barack Obama on Wednesday night.

In a speech nominating Obama as the Democrats’ Presidential nominee — a technicality — Clinton gave a point-by-point defence of Obama, arguing he was doing a great job.

At the same time, the former President shredded the case being made by Republicans against Obama, that he has failed to re-energise the economy.

Obama needed this as he and his aides have sometimes struggled to defend their performance — specially on economy.

The president was at hand to promptly recognise and thank the former president for the much needed boost — he walked onto the stage, shook hands with him and hugged him.

The convention hall erupted with chanted of “Four more years”. The comeback kid — as Clinton was known for his ability to resurface from his crises, which he had in plenty in his time — had delivered, but can Obama match it?

Obama takes the stage Thursday night in an event that has had some weather problems of its own — relocated to a smaller venue indoors because of forecast of thunderstorms.

But even his best performance may not help if the month’s jobs numbers expected the next morning on Friday don’t back him up. He needs a good report.

Republicans’ case, said Clinton, as laid out at their convention is that “we left him (Obama) a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in”.

The former president vigorously defended Obama’s record, saying he inherited a terrible economy, he put a floor under it to prevent it from falling deeper. “In the last 29 months the economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs.” There would have been more if Congressional Republicans hadn’t blocked Obama’s jobs bill.

Clinton went through every issue — ballooning deficit, debt reduction, health care — imploring cheering delegates to understand them so they could defend the President.