A picture, it has long been said, is worth a thousand words. But in the rough-and-tumble realm of U.S. presidential politics, a few words from a former president-turned-political kingmaker is valued much more.
Former President Bill Clinton continues to draw praise — and awe — from Democrats and Republicans for his wonky-but-folksy speech earlier this month at the Democratic National Convention.
Clinton’s DNC talk largely was a detailed defense of the policies enacted during President Barack Obama’s first term. It was regarded by political experts as the highlight of the Democrats’ convention, and helped Obama take a lead over his GOP foe, Mitt Romney, in most national and swing-state polls.
Fast forward several weeks to the annual conference in New York of the Clinton Global Initiative, the foundation run by the former president who is sometimes referred to as “Bubba” for his Arkansas roots. Romney delivered remarks Sept. 25, and let it be known he was looking for his own “Bubba bounce.”
Clinton introduced Romney — he will do the same later the same day when Obama addresses the conference — and told a story about Romney’s assistance in fighting an effort to cut funding for the Clinton-created AmeriCorps program.
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned anything during this campaign season,” Romney said, referring to the famous DNC speech, “it’s that a few words from Bill Clinton can do a man a lot of good.”
The hall erupted in laughter and applause. Romney stood at the podium sporting a sly grin, then quipped: “All I have to do now is wait a couple of days for that bounce.”
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