‘The power of our example’

Less than 24 hours after Hillary’s memorable speech, her husband got into the act, as Bill Clinton followed up on Hillary’s pledges to unequivocally support Barack Obama, while also going on the offensive against McCain. One of his memorable lines: “People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.”

Later, in response to the crowd’s chants of “Yes he can,” Clinton, ever alert and able to pivot, picked it up and said: “Yes he can; but we have to elect him, first,” deftly showing in one on-his-feet sentence his support for Obama and his acknowledgment of the hard work ahead for the assembled Democrats, work that he sounded prepared to continue himself.

Like Hillary on Tuesday night, the former President sounded ready to lead the Clintons’ supporters by the power of his example in supporting Obama.

As an aside, a figure frequently flashed on the CNN crawl noted that there have been 12 previous presidential candidates younger than the now 47-year-old Obama, including the 45-year-old Bill Clinton. In his speech, President Clinton noted that he, too, was targeted as being too inexperienced in 1992, something we was able to deflect and overcome.

And all that said, John Kerry gave a pretty good follow-up — they called it a very un-Kerry-like speech immediately afterward on PBS. Kerry completely went on the offensive about the differences between “Candidate McCain vs. Senator McCain” and was more firey than I remember him as a candidate four years ago. Like Bill Clinton, Kerry noted McCain’s status as a Great American, and even as a fine Senator, but not as a good candidate for President: “Are you kidding me folks? Talk about being for it before you’re against it. Before he ever debates Barack Obama John McCain should finish the debate with himself.”

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