When the Master Player Speaks Everybody Listens
He Told a Round Unvarnished Tale
With wit, erudition and soaring eloquence, Bill Clinton dropped some political science and took the nation to school last night. In the course of his powerful and learned oration he transformed the esoteric polysyllabic language of policy wonks into epic poetry and mesmerized the audience. Then he fashioned his rhetoric into a deadly weapon and demolished the pugnacious sophistry of the Grand Obstructionist Party, which has been masquerading as serious argument, and adroitly cast aspersions on their character, ethics and political acumen. And he did it in grand style.
The audience was amped by the moving speakers that preceded him – representing business, labor, academia, and the women’s movement. Hence the excitement was palpable; the atmosphere was electric. The scene was tailor made for a great political polemicist who is also a very able orator.
With his infectious southern charm and rigorous intellect, Bill Clinton told the nation in no uncertain terms why we should reelect President Obama and reject the Republican bid for power. And the case he made was deadly; it may have killed the Republican dreams of capturing the Oval Office. Time and again he sparked the audience into rounds of tumultuous applause. As he spoke I envisioned the Republican strategists, who thought it a good idea to play him up to dis President Obama, sitting at a table with a jug of moonshine and a pistol trying to decide who should put the gun to their head first.
A master of his trade, the art and science of political combat, Silver Tongue Willie skillfully laid out the essence of his argument in his opening statement. “I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty,” he intoned.
Continuing to cite the President’s virtues he said: “I want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before his election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression, a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on a long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs he saved or created, there’d still be millions more waiting, worried about feeding their own kids, trying to keep their hopes alive.”
Then he celebrated the Presidents beliefs and personal judgement. “I want to nominate a man who’s cool on the outside but who burns for America on the inside. I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, by education….I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.” My sentiments exactly!
After succinctly laying out the major themes of his argument, Clinton filled in the details with lawyerly precision and professorial erudition, spiked by a generous employment of humor delivered with brilliant comedic timing. Elegant standard English was interspersed with folksy aphorisms rendered in witty southern colloquialisms, buttressed by powerful representative anecdotes. His choice of facts in his comparative analysis went straight to the heart of the matter.
For instance when he pointed out that since 1961 the Republicans have held the Presidency longer than the Democrats but twice as many jobs were created under Democratic presidents. And when he said of contemporary job creation: “President Obama four and a half million, the Republican congress Zero!” He might also have added that the two great collapses of the American economy also took place under Republicans…who were pursuing the same policies Mitt Romney is advocating now.
But no matter, as the situation stood Big Willie put the Republican’s business in the street; aired their dirty laundry, and whipped their butts like runaway slaves. Since his administration is a model of economic success, the former President was entirely believable when he said that no president, himself included, could have repaired the vast economic carnage from eight years of Republican mismanagement in just four years. And he is eminently believable when he praises Barack’s policies and implores us to keep him on the job for four more years.
United They Stand
A Formidable Tandum
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
August 6, 2012