“Now, people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. What new ideas did we bring to Washington? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic.”
Former President Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention last night and systematically dismembered the Republican Party’s memes, schemes and misrepresentations that make up the body of their work in building a case against the Obama administration and for electing the men at the top of their ticket. In a fifty minute speech that strayed significantly from the version released in advance to the press, the former chief executive effectively used all the rhetorical skills in his arsenal to argue for another four years of Democratic control of the White House.
I have plenty of reservations about Bill Clinton’s tenure as President; his role in de-regulation of the financial industry and his shortsightedness about the repercussions of NAFTA immediately come to mind. But when it comes to his ability to mount a political offensive, nobody in recent memory can top the combination of ah-shucks populism and wonk-like command of facts that was on display last night. [Read more…]