I have no recollection of why we were there, but when Bill Clinton spoke during convention four years ago the whole gang was watching in the Paraclete dining room. As soon as we heard the beautiful sounds of “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow” as he walked out, we all had a moment of silence for the President we loved.
Maybe it’s a function of my age, my susceptibility to good oratory, or my progressive tendencies, but I long ago drank the Kool-Aid on the Clinton Administration. Don’t get me wrong: I love marital fidelity and honesty, but the faults of the man in those regards couldn’t outweigh how much I agreed with the work done during his Presidency (his inaction in Rwanda being the notable exception).
When his introducer yesterday was rambling off the positive economic statistics that went along with his Presidency, I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching one of those episodes of The West Wing in which President Bartlet gives himself a pep-talk by reminding himself how many jobs he created and how many kids have health insurance. (I’m thinking particularly of the scene when he’s talking to himself just before the press conference at the end of Season 2. RIP Mrs. Landingham.)
I thought Beau Biden’s intro had the perfect “gotcha” moment when he revealed his father’s speech impediment. The subtext was definitely “Remember all those times you made fun of my dad for his gaffes? WELL HE HAS A STUTTER! Don’t you all feel like jerks”. Regardless of whether anyone felt like a jerk, Biden the elder went on to give a pretty impressive speech that got ’em all weeping. His mom looks like a real pistol too.