September 6, 2012 by David K. Sutton
Did Clinton’s DNC Speech Win President Obama a Second Term?
Former President Bill Clinton delivered a lengthy, issue-specific speech and he did so in a way that was both entertaining as well as informative. His speech delivered much needed context on the economy and President Obama’s record after the Great Recession, and it destroyed Republican lies and out of context talking points.
But the question is, what is the makeup of the audience who watched this speech?
Americans who are active in politics left and right likely saw the speech, but how about the few remaining undecided voters in this election? I think many people like to frame the undecided vote as engaged independents who want to see bi-partisan compromise, and maybe there is truth to that. I think Clinton believes it because compromise and cooperation were major themes in his speech. I happen to think that a good part of the undecided vote are citizens who have not yet tuned into the presidential race. I think many of these people are likely to make their decision late in the game. For this reason, they likely have not seen Clinton’s speech, or at most have seen clips on the news. And if that’s the case, it might just be that Clinton’s speech created a lot of buzz among people who already know who they are voting for, but did little to influence the election.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the majority of undecided voters are politically active and paying attention, and if that is true, and with Clinton’s likability and popularity level, maybe his DNC speech could influence the 2012 presidential election.
All I can say is this: If Democrats can make every undecided voter sit down and watch Bill Clinton’s speech, this thing is over.
Clinton’s ability to frame the arguments and the choice in a way that treats people as adults, explains the policy stakes accessibly and then downright inspires you, remains unmatched. – Watching Clinton speak is still a thrill, by Matt Miller
I’m not necessary buying that argument at the moment. I think a lot of us on the left are caught up in the moment, and we need to remind ourselves that these conventions are lavish and lengthy infomercials for the respective candidates. If you are supporting President Obama that means Bill Clinton told you everything you wanted to hear last night (and more). So, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. We still need to focus on getting people out to vote. Don’t take anything for granted.