When a bull or a bucking bronc rider at a rodeo gets thrown from the saddle, out comes the rodeo clown to distract both the animal and the audience while the fallen rider is pulled to safety.
Bill Clinton's speech last night was something like that. After a disastrous day and an excruciatingly shrill, boring evening, Mr. Bill jumped into the arena to try and save the show, and no one can say he didn't do his level best. Even when you realized what he was saying was chock full of misstatements, half truths and a devious agenda of his own, you had to admire his showmanship, his delivery and his ability to play the Charlotte crowd like Jimi Hendrix mauling a stratocaster.
His only fault from a performance standpoint is that he went on far to long, speaking on past 11 PM, tiring the crowd and probably losing a decent portion of the TV audience before the last coda and the boffo finish. But then, Mr. Bill was always overfond of the sound of his own voice.
Bill Clinton had a few tasks Wednesday night, and he certainly succeeded with his target audience at the DNC, if perhaps not so much with the rest of the world. First, he had to make a case for Barack Obama, a man he doesn't particularly care for but whom he's bound to support as a loyal party warrior because he wants the same people he was speaking to tonight to support Hillary Clinton in 2016.
For that matter, this had the aura of a business transaction because, as the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza revealed, part of the price for Bill Clinton getting involved was Barack Obama finally fulfilling a promise he made to the Clintons back in 2008, to pay off Hillary's quarter million dollar campaign debt from the primaries she incurred that year.
For his own purposes he wanted to remind Democrats and the country at large of how good things were economically under the Clintons to pave the for a Hillary candidacy in 2016, something the Obama Campaign is more or less forced to go along with because of President Obama's own abysmal record.
As always, President Clinton conveniently glosses over the fact that the surplus he left was largely due to his letting the Republican House that took over 1998 do the heavy lifting, cut spending and balance the budget while Mr. Bill was involved with other activities in the Oval Office, but why let facts interfere with such a well delivered narrative spiel? Bill Clinton won the lotto, becoming president when the peace dividend and the end of the Cold War delivered by his two Republican predecessors coincided with the rise of the digital economy and the dot.com boom to create a lot of wealth, at least on paper.
Of course, when a lot of that paper money turned out not to be real, the economy fell into recession, but by that time Mr.Bill had finished his second term and was able to leave the mess in the hands of George W. Bush who had just enough common sense to use those much maligned tax cuts to generate the increased economic activity that pulled America out of it...even with the trillion dollar hit from 9/11, the fruit of another mess Bill Clinton conveniently left for someone else to clean up.
Clinton delighted the crowd with his riffs demonizing Republicans, and made what was, I thought, a fairly half hearted case for Barack Obama's re-election. He repeated the same fairy tales we've heard all along from the Obama Campaign about how the country really is better off than it was four years ago, and that it was the fault of those mean, obstructionist Republicans if Barack Obama could solve the problems he was elected to fix in 2008...but sssh, nobody mention he had a filibuster-proof Democrat Congress to work with for two years and could have done anything he wanted to -- and did.
There was much mention of 'the mess the Republicans got the country into' and left poor President Obama to clean up, the policies of the Evil Bush Administration. Of course, there was no mention of the fact that according to the Congressional Budget Office figures, the insane spending really began in January of 2007 when the Democrats took over congress, and that a certain Senator named Barack Obama voted for all of the same policies he now blames the Bush Administration for, including the TARP bailouts and the funding of two wars.
Mr. Bill even repeated the turgid fairy tale about those 4.5 million jobs the Obama Administration supposedly saved or created, something even CNN couldn't swallow with a straight face, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that less people are working now than when President Obama took office.
He gave a cheer for the auto bailout that gifted GM to the unions and cost the American taxpayers something like $88 billion that will never be recouped. And he even got in a few good words for the trillion dollar ticking time bomb President Obama put into the economy when he took over and revamped the student loan program in an effort to bribe young voters with something that will vastly increase the already inflated cost of a college education.
And of course, Mr. Bill mentioned that $716 billion President Obama stole from Medicare to pay from ObamaCare. To hear Mr. Bill tell it, Medicare is now 'strengthened' because of the forced cuts in what the government is going to pay in reimbursements. Of course, neither President Obama or Bill Clinton want to tell seniors what's going to happen to Medicare and Medicare Advantage when even more physicians and hospitals refuse to accept Medicare patients because they'll go broke doing it.
Then Medicare will be history as seniors will be shunted off to one-size-fits-all ObamaCare, where a 15 member unelected politburo can ration their healthcare with impunity.
There's more, but why bother, really? Bill Clinton, whatever his other faults is far from stupid and even he knows these talking points are just leftist fairy tales. They're designed to placate and delight the True Believers, especially when they're delivered with humor and verve by Bubba the Rodeo Clown.
He performed like he agreed to, and will hold up his end of the deal. Mr. Bill will make a few speeches here and there during the campaign to show willing, just as he did back in 2008. But his actual focus is on 2016 and Hillary, and nothing would benefit the Clinton's agenda more than for Barack Obama to be turfed out of the White House in November, so the Clintonistas can take over control of the Democrat party again.
Among other things, Mr. Bill's performance tonight, as delightful as it was for the audience and the Obama Media is going to be a difficult act for Barack Obama to follow tomorrow night and Mr. Bill, chuckling wickedly to himself, surely knows it.
He went out of his way tonight to put on a bravura performance and make sure of it.
Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His work has appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace and other publications.