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That old Clinton Magic

Reported by Judy - July 26, 2004 -

Remember all that Fox News baloney about President and Senator Clinton not really wanting John Kerry to win so that Senator Clinton will have a clear shot at the Democratic nomination in '08? Based on their performances tonight (July 26) at the Democratic National Convention, both are solidly behind this year's ticket.

CBS viewers were able to see both speeches in their entirety. Dan Rather kept interviews to a minimum and let the event speak for itself. It spoke eloquently.

In her speech introducing President Clinton, Senator Clinton (10:25 p.m. EDT) managed to straddle two very different tasks -- introduce her husband and say something meaningful about John Kerry. She did it with a light touch, saying she was there to introduce "the last great Democratic president" but first wanted to say a few words about "the next great Democratic president, John Kerry," and also by commenting "I think I know a great leader when I see one."

When it was his turn (10:36 p.m. EDT), President Clinton used his time not only to praise Kerry, but also to demonstrate the sharp differences between Democratic values and Republican ones. Democrats, he said, are for shared responsibilities and shared benefits, while Republicans support concentrated wealth and power, having people fend for themselves, and unilateral military action. Clinton dramatically personalized the differences by discussing the tax cut he received, and discussing programs that could have been funded with his tax cut.

All in all, it was a virtuoso performance by Clinton. He held nothing back. Clinton summed up differences between the party in terms that were comprehensive, yet backed by specifics, making the case for independent, undecided, or potential Nader voters that there are real differences between the parties.

Most importantly from the viewpoint of convention planners, Clinton said he will be a "foot soldier for the great patriot, John Kerry" and urged convention delegates to answer "Send me" when asked to campaign for Kerry in the next 100 days.

Fox and Friends will have a problem in the morning. How will they spin Clinton's enthusiasm and eloquence for Kerry into a sign that Clinton really wants him to lose?