Bill Clinton gave one of the finest speeches of either convention—and of his career—in Charlotte last night, making the case for Obama more effectively than the Obama campaign has managed most of the time, pundits say. He won praise from Democrats and Republicans alike, although fact-checkers found plenty to take issue with.
- Clinton's "detailed and passionate endorsement" made a more comprehensive case for Obama's re-election in 49 minutes than the rest of the DNC speakers could manage in the previous 11 hours, writes Andy Sullivan at Reuters. Clinton explained tough topics and dismantled Republican arguments masterfully, writes Sullivan, who calls Clinton "Obama's most valuable weapon."
- "This will be the moment that probably re-elected Barack Obama," GOP commentator Alex Castellanos tells CNN. "Bill Clinton saved the Democratic Party once. It was going too far left, he came in as the new Democrat and took it to the center. He did it again tonight," he says.
- There was even praise from Fox, notes Politico. "Nobody does it better," gushed Brit Hume. "He’s the most talented politician I ever covered and the most charming man I’ve ever met. And no one in my view can mount an argument more effectively than he can." He added, however, that the speech was "self-indulgent" and about half an hour too long.
- The fact-checkers at the AP were among the few not swooning for Bill. Clinton "cherry-picked facts or mischaracterized the opposition" several times, they declare. Among other things, he ignored the Democratic contribution to political gridlock and credited ObamaCare instead of the poor economy with keeping health care costs down.