One of the more laughable claims I have heard is the idea that former President Bill Clinton is in fact a liability to President Barack Obama. After Clinton's address on September 6, it is safe to say that is far from being the case. We don't even need to look to President Clinton's evisceration of the lies the GOP has constructed for themselves but look at a certain figure absent from the GOP convention and I'm not talking about Clint Eastwood's hallucinations (sorry, couldn't resist).
The Invisible Man
Remember the guy who was President before Barack Obama? The Republicans certainly don't since there was not one mention of George W. Bush at their Convention. Well that's not entirely true his brother spoke up for him and Condi Rice managed to mention her former boss's name once in her 20-minute speech. Who can blame them? After all, we're still living with Bush's mess. The current budget deficit is fueled almost entirely by Bush's ill-advised tax cuts and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Voters still hold Bush responsible for our current economic situation and they're right. Given the sheer magnitude of destruction Bush left for Obama, it is amazing that our economy is weak but relatively stable compared to 2008. You can take it to the bank that the GOP wishes that Bill Clinton was one of them instead of their ex-President who for all intents and purposes, lives in exile in the Dallas suburbs.
The Clinton Magic
Here's the thing about Bill Clinton, he is not only respected but truly beloved. This is anecdotal, but when I was at the Whole Hog Café in Little Rock, Arkansas, the staff I talked to reasserted what those who had met Clinton in DC told me: that he is a truly talented at connecting with everyone. Few people can command the attention of a crowd and at the same time, reach individuals on an almost spiritual level. That is what made Clinton so popular as Governor, why voters turned to him in 1992, 1996 and sent a strong rebuke to the GOP in the 1998 midterm elections after their Lewinsky witch hunt. And unlike Bush, Clinton left America in great shape, including a budget surplus which Bush squandered early in his term on reckless tax cuts.
One more thing: how can Clinton be considered a liability when the GOP is trying to use his welfare reform to attack Obama? They have claimed that Obama has weakened work requirements on welfare recipients. It is an outright lie and who would know better than the President who championed welfare reform and signed it into law? As Clinton explained to the DNC: "Here's what happened, when some Republican governors asked to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama administration listened, because we all know it's hard for people to get jobs today, so moving people to work is a real challenge. So the administration said they would only do it if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20 percent." That's not stopping the GOP from continuing this attack but they made it very clear they don't care about being honest with voters.
The Big Dog Delivers
The Big Dog delivered a massive chomp to the GOP, articulating not only why the GOP claims against Obama are a combination of lies, distortions and desperate stretches of half truths but why President Obama is the better choice than Mitt Romney. And unlike Paul Ryan, Clinton's speech wasn't a collection of lies. The fact is, Bill Clinton is an invaluable asset to President Obama and the Democratic Party and with his outspoken support President Obama is in an even stronger position to be re-elected and retake the nation from the Tea Party extremists.