Watching Bill Clinton, I’m reminded of this quote by Mary McCarthy, (speaking of Lillian Hellman): “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”
Just replace “she writes” with “he says.” In the end, a forgettable speech.
Update: Well, everybody (too many to link) seems to think that Clinton’s speech was just boffo, so I’m definitely in the minority here. But if I could just highlight one portion and explain why I thought it fell flat:
Clinton: “John Kerry and John Edwards are good people with good ideas…”
This line came in the final minute of Clinton’s bloated speech, after the self-congratulatory hagiography of his own administration and the unveiled swipes at Bush. At long last, some substance…or not:
“…ideas to make the economy work again for middle-class Americans, to restore fiscal responsibility,”
The Kerry camp is proposing – I lost count – nearly $2 trillion dollars in additional spending over the next ten years. His health-care proposal alone is estimated to chew up $900 billion in taxpayers’ money. But Kerry claims he’s only going to raise taxes on the “rich” to the tune of $250 billion over a decade. Where will the rest of the money come from? Middle-class Americans. There goes your fiscal responsibility.
“to save Social Security,”
Oh no no no. Kerry has no ideas, concepts, plans, designs or blueprints to save Social Security other than “not privatizing it.” The “answers” on his web site include (magically!) “growing the economy” and “restoring fiscal discipline” (see above)
“to make health care more affordable, college more available,”
Because there’s no private industry that can’t be improved by government intervention.
“to free us from dependence on foreign oil and create new jobs with clean energy and a cleaner environment…”
As I’ve declared many times, Kerry’s energy policy is a complete farce that does nothing whatsoever to reduce our dependence on Middle East oil.
“to rally the world to our side in the war against terror and to make a world with more friends and less terror.”
Oy, again with the Europeans. For the sake of argument let’s submit that since 9/11 Bush has alienated all of our so-called allies. We’re friendless in the world! And yet, since 9/11 there has not been another terrorist attack against the United States. When everybody in the world loved us, we had the U.S.S. Cole, Khobar Towers, the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and World Trade Center I. I’d rather have fewer “friends” and more security, myself.
After that, Clinton finished up with some massaged history and that trite “we’re all in the same boat” metaphor. “Send John Kerry?” Massachusetts did, and he’s done almost nothing for us. Now he wants a promotion? Clinton can’t be denied style points, but on substance it was a poor speech that was kept afloat on the Dems’ hero-worship of Clinton and unvarnished Bush-bashing.