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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton addresses delegates during the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina September 5, 2012.  REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Watching Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention last night, you knew you were watching one of the great masters of political speaking—hell, of any kind of speaking—at work. So, while the hours after Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's convention speech were devoted to identifying and highlighting his biggest lies, the hours after Clinton's speech have been devoted to identifying and highlighting his best ad libs. And there were a lot of ad libs; trying to follow his speech by reading his remarks as prepared was a fool's errand.

Just a few of the best:

On Republicans: "They did it well. It looked good, it sounded good. They convinced me they all loved their children, their families…They convinced me they were honorable people who would keep every commitment they’d made."
Then, before you'd even noticed the dagger he'd slid under the Republicans' ribs, he was twisting it with an extended discussion of why we should be terrified they would keep those commitments.

Then there was this:

6. "Democracy does not have to be a blood sport."
Said in the context of Obama having appointed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, that's a rebuke both to obstructionist Republicans in Congress and to Republicans who fantasized in 2008 about a Democratic convention ruined by PUMAs and this week about a convention ruined by Bill Clinton undermining President Barack Obama.

And the number one ad-lib, capping a laceration of Paul Ryan over Medicare?

1. "You got to admit, it takes some brass to attack a guy for what you did."
It is, of course, the word he didn't say, either after or instead of "brass," that makes it sing.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 06:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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