The Clinton Speech

Bill Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention cemented his reputation as a great speaker with impeccable technique and mastery of "arithmetic." Photo by Joeff.In an era when political speech is scripted in sound bites, Bill Clinton's point-by-point, almost wonkish defense of President Obama's first term stands in stark contrast.

Spanning nearly 50 minutes, Clinton mounted a fact-based refutation of Republican charges against Obama about the economy, Medicare and welfare-to-work, a program he initiated during his presidency. Employing masterful technique, simple language and colorful phrases ("double down on trickle down"), Clinton kept Democratic National Convention delegates glued to his every word.

The speech won wide praise and reinforces the point that political speech can and perhaps should be more than a string of platitudes, half-truths and evasions. Facts still matter. (FactCheck.org said, "With few exceptions, we found his stats checked out.) 

Speakers who respect their audiences enough to talk with them about serious issues, not just talk at them with bromides, are very much appreciated, even in this day of the short attention span and the need for TV networks to pause for station breaks.