Bill Clinton Speech Time: Choose Clinton Over the NFL Tonight, You Will Not Regret It

After Tuesday night's Democratic Party love fest — featuring the likes of Michelle Obama and Corey Booker — how could Wednesday night's DNC be any better?

Two words: Bill. Clinton. 

The Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night will see speeches from big-name Democrats like Barney Frank, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, and everyone's favorite I'm-still-here-guys-and-kind-of-a-big-deal former president, Bill Clinton. The convention will outline the Democrat’s platform and flesh out the themes of Obama’s re-election campaign. 

[Follow every moment of the DNC live at PM's Live Blog Central -- all the news and analysis you need]

Still, the DNC will get some hefty prime time competition: The NFL has its opening night tonight, with the defending champions New York Giants facing off against the Dallas Cowboys.

But Bill Clinton knows how to pull a crowd, I can tell you that much. And, after last night, Republicans better hope that Manning and Romo get in a shootout during their game ... because now the big guns are coming out for the Dems.

But first the pre-game: Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren will deliver a 12-minute speech that offers her a crucial opportunity to make the case to Massachusetts voters as to why she deserves their vote over Senator Scott Brown.

She will portray herself as a fighter who "stood strong" on behalf of the middle class to create a consumer protection agency during the financial crisis. Ahead of the speech, the Bay State GOP has prepared a web video with residents of the Cherokee Indian reservation, three hours from Charlotte, which complains about her claim to Native American ancestry. Watch here.

Then the moment we’ve all been waiting for: All eyes will be on former President Bill Clinton as he reclaims the national spotlight to make the case for President Obama's re-election.

Conservatives are gearing up for their attack on President Obama despite the beloved president's endorsement: (via WSJ) "So as Mr. Clinton tries to lay hands on Mr. Obama and rewrite the history of the 1990s, the real story isn't how much policy the two Democrats have in common. What matters is what they did differently. Bill Clinton learned from the mistakes of his first two years. Mr. Obama has doubled down on his — and, on all available evidence, he will double down again if he's re-elected."

But Clinton is a valuable commodity.

According to a Gallup Poll from July, two-thirds of Americans — 66% — have a favorable opinion of Clinton, tying his record-high favorability rating recorded at the time of his inauguration in January 1993.

Clinton nearly returned to this level of popularity at two points in his second term, but has generally seen lower ratings, averaging 56% since 1993.

It will be up to Clinton and Warren to focus the Democratic message, ahead of President Obama's speech on Thursday. Critics of the Democrat's first convention day charged that the message was unfocused, covering too much ground and touching on too many issues. In contrast to the Republican Convention, which was only about the economy and jobs, Democrats tread on all kinds of social and political issues, from foreign policy to civil rights. But, it will be the economy that takes center stage on Wednesday, with middle-class champion Bill Clinton and consumer protection advocate Elizabeth Warren in the spotlight. 

As Gallup reports, Clinton's popularity could make him one of the more valuable speakers at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, as he will reprises his 2008 convention role as booster-in-chief for Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton's favorable rating was also 66% in Gallup's most recent measure. Obama himself is viewed favorably by 54% of Americans.

Along with his record-high favorable rating, Clinton now has a near-record-low 28% unfavorable rating, according to the July 9-12 Gallup poll. The only times since 1993 that his unfavorable rating has been lower – 26% and 27% – were in January of his inaugural year.

Even the Mitt Romney Camp is singing Clinton's praises (with a political twist, of course):  “When it comes to the state of the economy, President Obama just can’t match President Clinton," said Amanda Henneberg, a Romney campaign spokesperson "Just this week, gas prices set a new record, the national debt topped $16 trillion, manufacturing slowed, and the number of Americans on food stamps hit a record high. Mitt Romney will reverse President Obama’s record of decline and disappointment by passing pro-growth policies that will get Americans back to work.” 

Lets end with this: Bill Clinton spits pure gold, and we can expect Obama to cash in on his predecessor’s speech.



Schedule (For Full Schedule, See Here):

  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM: President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank
  • 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Attorney General of California Kamala Harris, women's rights activist Sandra Fluke
  • 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM: Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, former President Bill Clinton
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