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:
WAMU 88.5 is staying on the convention beat:
Elsewhere around the convention: