The electrifying start of the Democratic National Convention at Charlotte, and the effect was simply compounded by the appearance of former president Bill Clinton offering a full-throated endorsement to President Barack Obama. But, things have not always been the same. Simply rewinding the timeline four years back to 2008 will tell us that when his wife Hillary competed for the Democratic nomination for the ticket of the President, Clinton wasn’t always so supportive of Obama’s ‘hope and change’ message.
As a matter of fact it was Bill who at various places criticized Obama on his policies related to Iraq and dubbed him inexperienced when it came to handling political affairs. So, during the past four years how has the political climate changed? Or what has converted blazing words of criticism into petals of encouragement?
Here are a couple of reasons that will help us understand the mutually benefiting nature of this political union.
Image From: Reuters
- Endorsement by No. 1 Democrat
With his poll numbers worsening especially among white population, Obama desperately needed to swing voters towards his side. An AP-Gfk poll last month revealed that President Obama was viewed favorably by 43% of white men, whereas white votes make up to 70% of electorate in recent presidential years.
In such conditions no other option could have been more suitable than Bill Clinton, a former president whose popularity graph remains exceptionally high 12 years after he left office. During his speech at the convention Clinton said: “If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility – a we're-all-in-this-together society – you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden." Receiving the license of endorsement from the most popular politician and top democrat was definitely the outcome Obama anticipated from the second day of DNC and with Bill Clinton leaving the podium.
- On a day on Economy, you need an Economic Maestro
It might not come as a surprise, but the second day of Democratic National Convention was dedicated towards the glorification of economic reforms that the Democrats had introduced. However, there remains less difference of opinion on the fact that the US economy has still not recovered from post-recession fatigue syndrome. In order to provide an effective cover-up to the economic shortcomings Obama needed Clinton.
According to a Democrat official, “He has the credibility of a man who left office with a budget surplus”. “He is a symbol of Democratic economic growth, and let’s face it, Obama is not.”And with Clinton throughout his speech praising Obama for his reforms in creation of greater employment opportunities, national debt, healthcare and medicare, the mission was well accomplished.
- Clinton’s far-sighted political vision?
The source that led to the cease-fire between the last two Democratic presidents is the same person who caused the feud: Hillary Clinton. Even though bested by Obama in 2008 elections, the issue was settled once she was appointed as the Secretary of State.
Since then the Obama campaign has been in touch will Bill on various subjects. They even consulted Bill Clinton on re-election strategy, and the ex-President whole-heartedly agreed to do a series of campaign commercials and fund-raisers. However, in the midst of all this, according to strategists Bill was attempting to generate goodwill by the speech that could pay off not just this November but on Election Day four years from now.
After all, it was ‘#Hilary2016?’that briefly became the top trend of Twitter as Bill Clinton took to the Democratic National Convention’s main stage.