Here's What to Expect From Bill Clinton's Democratic Convention Speech

Here's What to Expect From Bill Clinton's Democratic Convention Speech
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Throughout Hillary Clinton's second presidential run, Bill Clinton has carefully balanced the roles of both former president and supportive husband, stumping for his wife and rousing crowds with what some see as natural charisma and likability. 

However, it's proven impossible for Bill Clinton — and by extension, Hillary Clinton's campaign — to shake the public memory of his past indiscretions. Donald Trump has been happy to make sure the Clintons' marriage remains a relevant topic in the 2016 election, calling Hillary Clinton hypocritical for "enabling" her husband's sexual misconduct. What's more, Trump has reminded the public he isn't just referring to Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, but other allegations against the former president as well, including rape.

Trump's harsh accusations aren't baseless: In 1999, a woman named Juanita Broaddrick accused Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her during his run for Arkansas governor. Though at the time both Bill Clinton and his attorney denied the allegations, they resurfaced in January when Broaddrick tweeted that Bill Clinton had indeed raped her, and that Hillary Clinton had "silenced" her.

Bill Clinton also brought trouble to his wife's campaign when faced with protesters  — who, while not affiliated with the movement, said they supported Black Lives Matter — during an April speech he delivered in Philadelphia. They called out the former president on his 1994 crime bill, now infamous for provoking Hillary Clinton to refer to black youths as "superpredators." 

As Mic pointed out at the time, most candidates (including his wife) have paused to patiently listen to disruptive protesters. Bill instead said, "I like protesters, but the ones who won't let you answer are afraid of the truth."

A 1994 photo of then-president Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton
Source: 
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

But as Tuesday night's headlining speaker — likely appearing near the close of the event — Bill Clinton will, for but a moment, shed this baggage to do his one job on the DNC stage: rally support for his wife. 

Of course, part of this will likely include reminding people that he knows Hillary Clinton is fit for the country's highest office because he occupied it himself. Since it's unclear how the role of "first lady" will apply to Bill Clinton (a role which remains only socially defined, rather than constitutionally), there are different expectations for him as compared to Donald Trump's wife Melania. 

But like Melania, Bill Clinton will keep his spouse in the spotlight and stick to the central messages of their campaign.

As he said simply when he first publicly commented on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential run: "I'm proud of her."

Read more:
A 24-Year-Old Bernie Fan Debated Bill Clinton for 30 Minutes — And Made a Good Point
Everything You Should Know About Hillary Clinton's Family, Beyond Just Bill
Michelle Obama at 2016 DNC: "I Wake Up Every Morning in a House That Was Built by Slaves"

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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