WAMU 88.5 : News

DNC 2012 Roundup: Bill Clinton, Dems' Secret Weapon, Makes The Case For Obama

Former President Bill Clinton spoke — and spoke, and spoke — at the Democratic National Convention last night, and even though he added 20 minutes and 2,300 words to his prepared remarks, the crowd went wild. 

Clinton methodically addressed Republicans' arguments against President Obama one by one. He also answered the GOP's question of whether the U.S. is better off than it was four years ago with a resounding "yes," which was echoed by the crowd. There was plenty of his folksy appeal — observers noted a lot of missing "g's" at the end of the former president's words and the famous Clinton finger wag at different points during the speech — but there was also an appeal to civility that Clinton said has been missing in American politics. 

"Democracy does not ... have to be a blood sport," he said. "It can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest." He went on to say he had never learned to hate conservatives the way that some Republicans seem to "hate" the president

Fact-checkers didn't shy away from Clinton's dense speech. More than one of them took issue with the oft-cited claim that the Obama administration has created 4.5 million jobs; National Journal also pointed out that there is some debate on health care spending reductions that the former president cited. 

It may not be obvious from this morning's coverage, but there were a few other speakers last night: 

  • Elizabeth Warren, candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, lamented that the system is "rigged" against average Americans. She also rebutted Mitt Romney's comment from earlier in the campaign that corporations are people, noting, "People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die."
  • Continuing the convention's focus on the votes of women, Georgetown law graduate Sandra Fluke, who was the target of Rush Limbaugh's vitriol earlier this year when she spoke in favor of birth control coverage at a Congressional hearing, pointed out that Mitt Romney didn't stand up for her in the face of Limbaugh's comments.
  • Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen spoke earlier in the evening, criticizing Republicans' contribution to the national deficit. 


WAMU 88.5 is staying on the convention beat: 


Elsewhere around the convention: 


Patti Smith Reveals Her Solitary Soul In The 'M Train'

Smith follows up to her National Book Award-winning memoir, Just Kids, with another memoir, M Train. Critic Maureen Corrigan says it is a haunting story about weathering life's storms.

Sunpreme: The Grape That Could Revolutionize The Raisin Industry

Harvesting grapes usually takes thousands of workers. But a new raisin grape variety bred in Central California could dramatically cut down on the need for labor.
WAMU 88.5

The Realities And Possibilities Of Eating Well On $4 A Day

Some see the so-called "food stamp challenge" as one that builds empathy, others see it as a publicity stunt. We consider the realities -- and possibilities -- of eating well on $4 a day.

WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: Lessons From Israel's Search For Water

For this month's Environmental Outlook: Ten years ago, Israel experienced a prolonged drought that forced the country to come up with a strategy to address water scarcity. What its experience could teach an increasingly water-starved planet.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.