August 28, 2008

Our Man On The Floor: That Old Bill Clinton

I couldn’t say it better than Digby:

I know that it is fashionable among the cognoscenti to hate Bill Clinton, it has been since he came on the scene. But rank and file Democrats still love him and they were happy to see him tonight. Like Hillary, he’s the ultimate pro, and he has a legacy to protect and a wife who is one of the most important people in Democratic politics still. There was never any chance he and Hillary would replay 1980. It’s never been their style.

He did something important tonight by reminding Americans that he too was derided in 1992 as being too young and too inexperienced to be commander in chief, which to all but a few die hard wingnuts, looks pretty ridiculous in retrospect. In doing that he laid the mantle of his own credibility as president on Obama, which despite the cable babblers who’ve never gotten it, is substantial to the American public.

I hear that he’s going to be campaigning alongside Barack in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania and that’s smart. Say what you will about him, he’s still a helluva politician.

The first two slides by the incomparable Alan Chin cover most of Digby’s point. Clinton’s eagerness and electricity radiates right through the battery of secret service. Shots 3, 4 and 5, however, really reveals the full spectrum of Clinton’s political personality.  In the third shot, we see his characteristic finger.  But it’s instructive rather than admonishing.  In the next frame, we see a side of Clinton that has been painfully absent (and almost forgotten) since Lewinsky — that gregariousness and playfulness.

In the last shot, though, Bill’s expression is one that can’t really be acted.  And, it’s is the image the Democrats and Obama really needed from Clinton last night: simply the look of joy.

Welcome Digby readers. Go here to check out our full convention coverage from Denver

(Images © Alan Chin.  Denver. 2008)

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Michael Shaw
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