Bill at the DNC

I don’t make it a habit to watch the other party’s convention every four years, but I wanted to hear Bill Clinton tonight.  He delivered everything I expected — charisma and charm seasoned by healthy rhetoric and the usual talking points. 

A couple things that jumped out in particular:

Clinton mentioned near the end (and pardon my paraphrasing) that healing the health care crisis needed to involve shared responsibility.   Great.  So long as it is voluntary.  The moment it becomes law, it becomes one less thing I get to decide for myself.

Clinton talked up foreign policy, claiming that whomever Obama could not convert into an ally, he would stand up to.  I don’t want a leader standing up to bad guys, I want an leader who will defeat bad guys. 

A PBS commentator noted that the general thrust of Clinton’s speech tonight centered on making us strong at home so that we can be perceived as strong by the rest of the world — that the world is often more impressed by the power of our example than the example of our power.  Another commentator then chimed in with an important, perhaps defining, point. 

He doubted Putin or Ahmadinejad would be very impressed with the power of our example.  So do I.

I know there’s a lot of animosity out there for America.  There’s a whole bunch of people in Iraq right now, however, who are grateful we stepped in when we did.  Other countries may not like us that much.  That’s OK.  As one of my favorite writers put it once upon a time: they’ll like us when we win.


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