August 27th, 2008
09:51 PM ET
10 years ago

Gergen: Best Since He Left the White House

 Bill Clinton got the crowd cheering during his convention speech.

Bill Clinton got the crowd cheering during his convention speech.

Bill Clinton delivered the best, most effective and most important speech since he left the White House. Not only did he offer up a rousing embrace of the Obama-Biden team, not only did he validate the qualifications and readiness of the Democratic ticket, but he was the first one at this convention to paint a bright, clear picture of the crucial choices voters face this November.

Next week, we will hear a strong - and perhaps equally compelling - rebuttal from the Republicans. Everyone will want to weigh the arguments carefully.

Watch: Bill Clinton says Obama is ready to lead

But for the moment, the Democrats have the public stage, and Bill Clinton has just become a crucial force on behalf of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Watch: Bill Clinton: I support Obama

Finally, let me recognize that I am only a single person speaking. The people who count the most are really you, the voters. Would welcome your thoughts.

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Denise

    Loved it! Came right out and stated that Obama was ready to be POTUS!!! Well done!!!

    August 27, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. David

    Mr. Gergen,

    I think the most important part of the speech was when he noted that the GOP used the same scare tactics about his inexperience that they are using against Barack Obama. It didn't work then, and let's hope that it will not work this year.

    August 27, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. Mike, FL

    Republican Policy = War mongering and an economic recession

    Democrat Policy = Economic prosperity for all

    You decide

    August 27, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. D&D

    I have to agree with Gergen, this is one of the most effecient speech that I have ever listened from Bill Clinton...and to me, so far, it's the best speech of the Convention...I haven't listened Joe Biden's speech...but so far, Bill Clinton's speech is the best...the guy knows where and how to place his words...

    Thank you Bill

    August 27, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  5. tom

    I would like to see the critics put a spin on that, I am so sick of Fox News just for a laugh i turn on that station and there they are trying to down play Bill Clintons speech they are so sad.

    August 27, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. Casey, Minneapolis, MN

    As usual, I completely agree, Mr. Gergen.

    Bubba's skills were evident again.

    August 27, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. Cynthia

    President Clinton truly hit it out of the ballpark.

    August 27, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. Obama/Biden 08

    That was an awesome speech, Bill! You acquitted yourself really well. My respect for you just rose a bunch (although I already had a lot of respect for you).

    August 27, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. Aaron from Battleground Ohio

    After Hillary's speech yesterday the only rebuttal that I heard from the Republicans was that she didn't say Barack was ready. Bill Clinton hit this one out of the park and said that there was no doubt he was ready. What are the Republicans going to whine about this time? Perhaps the color of his tie not being blue enough to be patriotic?

    August 27, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  10. Franky

    I'm gonna tell you right now what the GOP is gonna do David. They're gonna come out pressing(a word used in basketball to apply pressure). I'm telling you David, they're gonna come after my boy at every angle! They're gonna hit him with everything! Plus, don't be surprised if they used Dems as examples. Remember, they're gonna use EVERYTHING....

    August 27, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. Obama08

    Can you now give the whole Clinton drama to rest including your constant harping about Hillary for VP and start covering the issues in this campaign??

    August 27, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  12. Susie

    Great speech!!-especially when he said "they thought I was too young and experienced to lead a country". We had great eight years under President Clinton that we have lost under President Bush!

    August 27, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. D N DC

    Say what U want about Bill, I don't care....... Bill was on FIRE 2nite!!!!!! Democrats R UNITED..... Don't believe these "pundits" pushing their own agendas...... We R united we have been united and we are ready to fight the fight!!!!!! No more No more No more No more No more

    Obama 08

    August 27, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  14. Sue

    David, what I like so much about you is your clear thinking and method of expression without the cynical comments of almost all of the other CNN commentators, most of whom are out of control when it comes to Bill or Hillary.

    Bill Clinton hit a home run tonight, just as Hillary did last night. He will do what is right for the party because he understands the primarys are meant to be fought tooth and nail, just like the contest between the two nominees in the months leading up to the general election.

    Thank you David Gergan for your consistent insight into the current political contest!

    August 27, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. John

    I have been an Obama supporter since I voted for him for Senator in 2004.

    I have been an Obama for President supporter since he made me very happy by throwing his hat in the ring in early 2007.

    As an Iraq veteran, I knew that he was not just "Change", he was the change we absolutely needed.

    I supported Obama throughout the entire primary season. Volunteered, defended, donated.

    So when I say that I support Obama/Biden '08, I want you to realize that there is some history there.

    After hearing Hillary Clinton speak last night, and after hearing Bill Clinton speak tonight, just now, I sent my first contribution to Hillary to help pay down her debt.

    Hillary and Bill have shown that we are Democrats. We are united. We are on the same team, and that team is dedicated to electing Obama.

    No way, no how, no McCain.

    Obama is ready to be President.

    The Republicans said that Clinton was too young and too inexperienced.

    The Clintons are right. We need Obama right now. Obama is ready right now. Vote Obama/Biden '08, donate to Obama and Clinton, come together and get it done.

    Yes We Can

    August 27, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  16. RJ, CA

    Not reallly, Gergen - the Clintons did what they HAD to do. McCain will prevail! Nothing new from either of the Clintons!

    August 27, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Mitch Tiburon, California

    David...I'll be anxiously awaiting your appraisal of the Republicans. So far, I see very little in the way of a genuine non partisan sage that you seem to insist your are. As only one of many examples, I'm curious how you seem to believe only Republicans have "negative attacks." Huh?

    You've got a great schtick going on the sage thing. We'll see how long it goes without far more push back.

    August 27, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  18. Nuwan Sam

    I agree with you. It was one of his greatest speeches come at a moment where it needs to be made exactly as it was. He cleverely pointed out manything for Obama campaign. This is why I like him which I consider as one of the greatest president this country every had.

    August 27, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  19. Ex-PUMA

    Stupid 22nd Amendment. I miss you, Bill!!!

    Bill Clinton was absolutely brilliant tonight. No one need have any more doubts about this man and this campaign.

    I have to say, he's convinced me to vote for Obama in November after all. They say Obama gives great speeches, but no one compares to this man! Clinton's speech was perfect. He would've made a fantastic "first lady", but I suppose we can just wait until 2016 after Barack has had 8 good years in office.

    August 27, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. Natasha

    This was an awesome speech, as was Hillary's. I no longer feel any anger or resentment towards these guys. What a great job.

    Also, don't pay much attention to the supposed PUMAs ob boards and comments. Most of these are undoubtedly republican operatives who are trying to discourage Hillary supporters from voting. I mean come on, how could republicans not jump on that?

    August 27, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. Shiv Singh

    The Obama team was more intrested in bashing Clinton's than paying to tribute to our troops. The three days has past since this convention has started and there is no tribute to our brave Men and women in armed forces.

    August 27, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  22. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Given the performance of both Clintons at this convention, explain again why Obama didn't pick Hillary as VP. Sure looks like a big mistake now. I think Bill and Hillary did what they had to do to preserve their own standing in the Party. I'm sure neither liked it.

    August 27, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  23. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Good evening Mr. Gergen

    Mr. Clinton gave the perfect speech to acknowledge that Barack Obama is ready to lead. He was the only who could do that! Michelle has not been President and Hillary Clinton is not the to be President.

    We can see that Every speech was specifically tailored to offer the diversity that exist in a team. Each person actually offers equally according to their own lives! That is the true meaning of the real contribution that every individual can bring to the table. Respecting true equal opportunity and equal justice in this way by respecting each person's life experience offers to them and to us the best that they can offer to the world! We cannot ask a wife to offer arguments in a field that she has not experienced herself...that would not have been fair to her and to anyone else to ask anyone to go outside their own lives experiences! The first rule I have learn in life is seek to help people to contribute accordiing to their own life this case we are all competent!

    God Bless you

    August 27, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. Christy

    Bill did what he had to do. But he, with all of the negativity the media has been portraying, was more convincing than Hillary. Nice job Bill – way to appear honest, even if it was just rhetoric. He convinced me and I am not a Clinton fan.

    August 27, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  25. terry maineiac

    Clintons best line of the night.

    We lead by the power of our example, not by the example of our power. very JFKish.

    August 27, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
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