Bill Clinton offered a spirited defense of President Barack Obama and his efforts to right America's ship Wednesday at the Democratic Convention. In sports parlance, he set a great table for the cleanup hitter. Always great with stats, the former president came up with some numbers that as startling as they are true. Since 1961, Republican presidents have presided over the creation of 24 million jobs in 28 years. During the same period, Democratic presidents have been in charge while 42 million jobs were created in 24 years.
Keeping in mind that presidents themselves don't create jobs, how is the Romney-Ryan ticket's promise of 12 million jobs in four years looking right now? Unless my math is terribly wrong, they're promising 3 million jobs a year. Spread that over eight years and you begin to see the problem. The only president who can credibly say he presided over the creation of anywhere near that many jobs is…..wait for it…. Bill Clinton!
Bill Clinton also talked of moving people out of poverty. To Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, poor folks are a foil, to be sued to reinforce the notion of a class of freeloaders riding on the backs of hard working Americans. That's because the GOP believes the path to power lies in creating "others", that is, people who aren't as good as the rest of America. Bill Clinton knows this is wrong, and so does Barack Obama.
So Thursday night it's the current president's turn. To try to generate the extraordinary enthusiasm of four years ago is a heavy lift indeed. He also must steel himself for the Friday jobs numbers, which may help or hurt his argument for a second term. However, one thing is for sure. Barack Obama had the finest group of people leading up to his speech (including his wife) that any president has ever had.
Don't you think?