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Ok, so I am so sick and tired of the punditocracy attributing the Obama bounce to Bill Clinton.
Sick and tired!
To Lorne Michael and SNL, if you want to play kingmaker, you are going to have to come harder.
I know I am stirring up the hornet's nest here, but hear me out before you flame me to oblivion.
No doubt Clinton's speech helped. It was a great speech superbly delivered.
Clinton was in his element. He made a compelling case for choosing Obama over Romney but he didn't have to clinch the deal.
President Obama had to and he did it brilliantly.

To hear the pundits talk, you'd think that if Clinton had advocated for Romney, then Romney would have had the bounce.

Another problem with giving all the glory - or an oversized portion of it -  to Clinton,
is that it ignores the brilliant, emotional, powerful speakers who came before him.
The Democratic convention was like a great concert; it was one excellent act followed by one excellent act.

Have we forgotten Michelle Obama?

“Well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. No, it reveals who you are.”
Cory Booker?
Deval Patrick?
if we want to earn the privilege to lead, it's time for Democrats to stiffen our backbone and stand up for what we believe. Quit waiting for pundits or polls or super PACs to tell us who the next president or senator or congressman is going to be. We're Americans.
We shape our own future. Let's start by standing up for President Barack Obama.
Lilly Ledbetter?
The lively Ted Strickland with one zinger after the other?
“Mitt Romney, he lives by a different code. To him, American workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. ”

“Barack Obama is betting on the American worker. Mitt Romney is betting on a Bermuda shell corporation.”

“Barack Obama saved the American auto industry. Mitt Romney saved on his taxes.”

Julian Castro and his cute as a button daughter?
Jennifer Granholm?
John Lewis?
Emmanuel Cleaver?
And who can forget Gabby Gifford and that moment we saw her bravely walking out on stage?

Did Clinton do more for Obama than Obama did for himself? What do the facts reveal?

All quotes from Reuters:

Nielsen said an estimated 25.1 million viewers across seven cable and broadcast networks watched the second night of the convention in prime time, when Clinton delivered a lengthy, humorous and detail-heavy defense of President Barack Obama's first term in office. The total figure however was down from the 26.2 million TV audience for first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday night.
According to the same report, Clinton sparked 22,000 tweets.
Note that Clinton didn't even beat Romney's speech:
For Republican challenger Mitt Romney's speech last week, 30.3 million people watched on television.
Compare that to President Obama's speech:
More than 35.7 million people tuned in on three broadcast and 10 cable networks to watch Obama accept the Democrats' nomination for president, according to Nielsen ratings data.
President Barack Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday night drew the largest television audience of this year's political conventions and ranked as the biggest political moment ever on social media site Twitter.
The president's speech prompted 52,756 tweets per minute just after it ended, a new record according to Twitter.
It is worth noting that the president went up against the VMAs. I know for certain that a huge percent of young people (maybe even the majority) who ordinarily  would have watched the president live, chose to watch the VMAs live and catch the Speech on YouTube later. Among them was my own daughter and her group of friends all of whom are very loyal Obama supporters.

I am not saying that Clinton has not contributed to the bounce the president is currently enjoying.
He did. I loved his enthusiastic take-down of the president's critics. There is something beautiful about watching someone doing that which he so obviously enjoys.

But the bottomline (at least for me) is this: The Democratic Convention was a symphony with Clinton as the Third Movement; Barack Obama - and only Barack Obama - was the Fourth.

Remember to donate!

Who gets the credit for the Obama bounce?

38%84 votes
2%6 votes
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16%37 votes

| 220 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Clinton went up against the start of the NFL (6+ / 0-)

    season.  A blockbuster of a game to boot - Giants vs. Cowboys.  Considering that, his ratings were very good.

    Also, the VMA was not in competition to Obama's speech.  They wrapped up before Obama spoke, then MTV carried the speech live, making the VMA awards the perfect segway into Obama's speech. likely helped Obama gain extra viewers.

    Why is this an issue?  Enjoy that we have both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  There is no controversy, don't make one out of nothing.  

  •  It looks like we're just going to have make 'em (7+ / 0-)

    cry "uncle" on Nov. 6 before they'll recognize that the American public DOES side with President Obama.


    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:50:17 AM PDT

  •  Good points (14+ / 0-)

    The entire DNC convention was well planned and executed from start to finish. By all accounts, it exceeded (my already high) expectations.

    All the speakers were on message and spoke convincingly from the HEART (including the non-politicians like Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, and the real-life Americans like the mother who talked about Obamacare helping with their child's heart condition, or the young man with the lesbian moms, etc.)

    The crowds in Charlotte were enthusiastic and generated an atmosphere of inspiration, resolve and excitement at the same time.

    Of course, Bill Clinton's speech resonated profoundly with viewers and was well-received - but in good part because of the subject of his speech, President Obama. Had he given a speech in support of Mitt Romney, the effect would not have been the same.

    So while we're grateful for the Big Dog's contribution, we should not allow the media to use Clinton to diminish our President in any way whatsoever.

  •  who gives a fuck? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as long as Obama wins and We gain in congress I could care less who is responsible for the bounce.

  •  bounce is over now (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, doroma, EcosseNJ, Micheline, jayden

    His lead is down to 3 with Gallup but approval is 50%. I think he has about a 3 point lead now probably get bigger once the Mideast calms down an Romney has no answers in the debates.

    •  I think Ras is starting to show (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that Mitt's "foot in mouth" moment may be working, he has Romney going from a 3pt 48-45 lead and an Obama negative approval last week to today's meagre Romney 47-46 lead and an Obama approval now at 50-49...

      "Never trust a man who, when left alone with a tea cosy, doesn't try it on!!"

      by EcosseNJ on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 12:10:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dems Had a Great Convention (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, a2nite, greengemini, Anak, jayden

    There was a great coordination effort to talk up progressive values, and many people realized that they agreed with those values. In the past, a lot of people associated values as equivalent to conservatism.

  •  What the punditry fails to admit... (13+ / 0-)

    is the extraordinary success Obama's speech was in light of the expectations they set for him.

    The mere fact that they declared his task to be an impossible one, then couldn't find much to criticize in the speech other than it being a 'little flat' is an admission that the speech was successful.

  •  Say what you will about Bill...... (6+ / 0-)

    .......but he's a BIG reason for the shift.

    If you ask most typical middle class voters old enough to remember the Clinton economy, they remember it well and as a GOOD thing, especially compared to the Bush years. If you ask a typical centrist voter whether the BC press mess of the late 90's was justified, most will say "no, it was a political witch hunt". BC's 70ish % approval ratings back this up.

    Also, Bill Clinton pulls from demographics that Obama isn't quite as solid on. BC takes the doubting centrist/indy voter - maybe even those who voted O in '08 but wasn't sure this time - and locks them up firmly in O's column this time. These are smart, middle and upper middle class voters who wanted the thorough explanation, who do understand the benefit of ALL of us doing well. They just needed the reminder as to why that's so, and BC delivered that in a style that Obama just doesn't.

    Also, white working class voters who trust "Bubba" more than they do Obama. Yeah, it's mostly a personality thing - and too much spillover of FoxRush type criticisms that have some of these distrusting Obama, but if it takes BC to sell Obama's economic message (very similar), then so be it. It works.

    These two groups are those Obama has been concerned about losing, and BC brings them home.

    Now this did not happen in a vacuum. Much like a football team, the QB has to play well, but so does the supporting cast: Line, wideouts, defense, and special teams all have to play well and in a way that benefits the whole. So all of the other great speakers set up that narrative foundation for the Clinton and Obama speeches, building and climaxing with a total coherent message that more people could relate to.

    Also:don't discount those who saw Clinton AFTER the fact. Typical watercooler talk: "Hey - you see Bill Clinton last night?" "No, saw the game" "You should check it out....lots of job talk in there". And the multimillion views of that speech on YouTube across multiple channels tell us that it has reach beyond the original broadcast, and will continue to win converts. Anytime I overhear a conversation about the election, like "I wish I could figure out just what's important in this election" I tell them to watch the Bill Clinton DNC speech - and even tell them "Yeah, he does tell you he's there to elect Barack Obama - it is a convention speech, but there's lots of details on the economy that you really need to know".  And people have responded in the affirmative here.

    I have plenty of issues with Bill Clinton - bank deregulator, drug war escalator, welfare slasher, NAFTA proponent - but that guy has a way with the centrist public that is undeniable. His impact is very significant, and I think we will all look back at this campaign and understand that Bill Clinton was truly a game changer.

    "Because only three percent of you read books - and only fifteen percent of you read newspapers - but right now there is a whole and entire generation that didn't know anything that didn't come out of this tube." - Howard Beale

    by Audible Nectar on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:21:37 AM PDT

  •  There Was a Very Similar Voice to Most of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, Delilah

    speeches, similar way of making points and cadence. I presume there was at least some editing because I've never known 2 Democrats in succession to be able to talk motivationally since the 1960's.

    One good speech after another, even some of the early pre-network ones each day.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:22:00 AM PDT

  •  Bill Clinton did the yeoman's (12+ / 0-)

    work of rebutting the lies, one by one, in a way that didn't sound defensive - Obama couldn't have done the same thing without being called defensive and that would have been the entire story of the Democratic Convention - Defensive Obama On The Ropes.

    Obama was able to present himself as a serious man, The President.  I usually like him better when he's in stump mode - I like the fire and the jokes.  

    This time I liked seeing him as the adult in the room who gets it that we've got a hell of a job to do if we're going to be a serious force in the 21st Century.  He's the first honest politician I've seen in decades - he tells me what's working, which I need to stay motivated, but he also points out that we can't undo X number of years of deregulation, or Republican Tax Cuts and unpaid-for wars, or decades of belittling government in a single term or two terms.  We need a completely different path, and that's what he told us.

    It was an amazing convention, each speaker building on the theme of the campaign and the speakers who preceded him or her.  Obama was the centerpiece and did a brilliant job.

    I'll always be grateful to Bill Clinton for the job he did on the Republicans, but keep in mind that it would not have been as effective if Obama hadn't plowed that ground repeatedly over the last 3+ years.  He's the first Democrat in decades who managed to take back the national narrative and begin to bend it in a different direction.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:23:51 AM PDT

  •  On SNL... Last night bugged me a lot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Seth Meyers will always be remembered for speaking on the eve of the Bin Laden Raid at the WH Correspondents dinner so I think Lorne Michaels and Co. are putting pressure on the "Weekend Update" sketches to seem "fair and balanced." Last night, Seth said, "The Democratic Convention was watched by less people than 4 years ago, the ratings were so low that Honey Boo Boo beat it in the primetime hour!" Lies! That was the RNC but whatever fits the media meme I guess.

    I also don't understand why they think it is necessary to have a show 2+ times a week?

    On your other points, if you look at our very own Kossacks you will see why the pundits are pumping up Clinton's Speech as to make Obama look like he gave an average speech. Everybody wants to talk about 2016 and everybody wants a reason to watch this race. But the truth is, Obama is winning this, period.

    Romney = Nixon without the sweating problem

    by YoungArizonaLiberal on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:25:47 AM PDT

  •  It is called (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnB47, 1040SU

    The Democratic National Convention. Not the Obama National Convention. And the Dems all did an amazing job. And the party deserves the credit.

    Romney/Lyin' - 2012

    by kitebro on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:40:43 AM PDT

  •   I have long resolved myself to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, greengemini, 2thanks, zizi

    the understanding that msm is run by white males who both on the right or left like to feel like they are greatness, no matter what it is they give each other the props and complain about everyone else.  Its the reason everything our pres does he is second guessed or someone wants to give some white person the reason why he got it done.  Alas Its ok with me, clearly potus understands it just like AA and Latinos get it.  

    I give all the props to everyone especially all those great women at the DNC. It was one of the best conventions I ever witnessed.

  •  delegates at both conventions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When cameras panned the floor at the DNC, the delegates looked like the people I see everyday on the stresses, buses and subways in NYC. The RNC delegates looked like angry disgruntled members of golf clubs. We represent the future.

    "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

    by buffie on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:15:24 PM PDT

  •  Misspell! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I meant streets.

    "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

    by buffie on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:16:22 PM PDT

  •  The GOP has been trying to drive a wedge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, Sophie Amrain

    by using Bill Clinton as the "good Democrat".  There have been diaries about it here.  Sorry I don't have the link but there have been some on the front page.

    The sources you are reading could be concern trolls.  It's certainly a troll meme.  

    They don't understand that Democrats are a team and that means when one shines we all shine.  President Obama is a strong, confident man who likes strong, capable people around him.  He has assembled a great team and he is without doubt, the leader.  

    Obama/Biden 2012 and Democrats at ALL levels winning in a landslide!!!

    Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.~ Howard Zinn

    by ParkRanger on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:28:02 PM PDT

  •  Can't agree more. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, jayden

    I'll say no more.  

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:40:13 PM PDT

  •  Bill Clinton is a great communicator, no doubt. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, jayden

    He was MASTERFUL at the Dem's convention this year. However, as this post stated, the whole convention was well planned & the speakers were very effective. That being said, great speaches would mean nothing if Dems didn't have a good platform. Further, even if we had all the above, it wouldn't mean anything without the generational achievements that the Obama administration had put into place (i.e., healthcare reform, increasing Pell grants, adding 8 yrs. to Medicare, repealing DADT, securing loose nukes, etc.). By contrast, the Republican convention was full of lies, hateful, chair-talking & didn't clarify 1 Rmoney position). If you can't pull off a cheerleading conference, w/ no opposition - then how would you deal w/ strife from our enemies? In Short, Rmoney showed how craven he is (again) by being to intimidated by Clint Eastwood to ask him how long he would talk & what he would say.  But, back to the point, if Bill Clinton could magically talk Americans into electing a candidate, the signs would read "Hillary 2012." So, Pres. Obama's record was the foundation upon which all the speakers based their retoric. I think that the Repubs or pundits who were quick to credit Clinton to the exclusion of Obama were people who never want to credit him for anything.

  •  Thank you, Debbie. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It gets a bit tiresome to see people act as if Obama needs to be rescued by Clinton.
    They have completely forgotten that it was Obama who beat the Clinton machine and not the other way around.
    As you said...

    back to the point, if Bill Clinton could magically talk Americans into electing a candidate, the signs would read "Hillary 2012."

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