DNC2012 and the Reemergence of Bill Clinton

DNC2012 and the Reemergence of Bill Clinton

A few years ago, Bill Clinton broke my heart.  I won’t rehash the details but it involved Ted Kennedy, an unfortunate conversation, and a heart wrenching presidential primary season.

I recall going to my bookshelf and picking up his autobiography.  I held it over the garbage can with shaking hands.

“Damn you Bill! Damn You! You were supposed to (kindasortabutnotreally) be the first Black President,” I thought.

Like a scorned lover, my feelings were hurt and I wanted to get rid of all remnants of him.  But I couldn’t throw the book away.  Instead, like an old photograph, I hid it in the back of my book shelf, hoping that one day he would reemerge and apologize for all the hurt he had caused.

I’ve been waiting for him to reenter into my life…politically that is…and secretly I am happy to say that tonight is everyone’s moment to re-meet the genius, the scandal, the political phenomena also known as William Jefferson Clinton.

The Democratic Party effectively accomplished on their first night what it took the Republican Party three days to do which was to reenergize their base.  Michelle Obama, aka Mommy-in-chief aka Obama’s Secret Weapon aka Threat Level Midnight, made tremendous strides to accomplish the primary goal of the Democratic National Convention which is to “GOTV” (Get Out The Vote).   The rousing speeches of Corey Booker, Deval Patrick, Lilly Ledbetter, and Michelle Obama almost made comparisons of the two political conventions laughable.   Clearly, the Republicans brought bubbles to the fist fight.  Democrats brought their brass knuckles.

Yet reenergizing the base is only one goal of a political convention, the second, and most difficult goal is to capture the vote of those who are undecided, those who are listening to more than platitudes and good music – those who are holding on to their vote until the very last minute.

The task at hand for the Democrats is to capture first the minds, then the hearts of these people.  For that reason, there could be neither a better person than Bill Clinton nor a better time than tonight to make the case to independent voters.

If I was a betting man (instead of a betting woman) I would anticipate that Bill will make a compelling case as to why everything that President Obama has done thus far has been the best thing for the country.  He will boast Obama’s accomplishments.  He will remind us of Osama bin Laden and SEAL Team Six.  He will talk about the economic and global impact of Obama’s presidency.   He will do this and we will all believe him – not because we necessarily want to but because he is Bill Clinton – a man who may have a dirty mouth and dirty sexual tendencies but a man incapable of championing something that he doesn’t believe in.

Well played Democrats.  Well played.

Considering the very public history of friction between Obama and Clinton, this feels like a homecoming of sorts.  Akin to when the Five Heartbeats (and the BackStreet Boys) got back together, I am hoping that the alliance between these two men is genuine because they realize they are far more powerful together than they were apart.


Picture courtesy of capitalpost.com

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    Kay S

    Kay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer and blogger who focuses on race, politics and urban culture. Having worked on public policy at the state, regional, city and community level, her opinions have been featured in the Chicago SunTimes and a host of news websites (under very mysterious sounding pseudonyms). Follow her on Twitter @kaywillsmith or contact her at kaywilliamsmith@gmail.com.

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