August 27th, 2008
09:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Toobin: Clinton makes good case against McCain


Bill Clinton acknowledges the crowd before speaking at the DNC. (Photo credit: AP)
Sure, Clinton was eloquent, but he also made an important political point that may serve as a guide to his fellow Democrats.

Watch: Bill Clinton's entire speech

John McCain is running as a maverick, someone who has defied the orthodoxy of this party. But look at this passage from Clinton's speech:

"As a Senator, he has shown his independence on several issues. But on the two great questions of this election, how to rebuild the American Dream and how to restore America's leadership in the world, he still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we never had a real chance to see in action until 2001."

Watch: Bill Clinton gets tough on McCain

In other words, it's one thing to be a maverick on issues like campaign finance and immigration, but on the issues that matter to most people, McCain is a classic Bush Republican. I don't know if voters will accept this argument, but Clinton, as usual, made a clever and possible case.

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Sherry, Atlanta


    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-'12

    August 27, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. bob in LA

    Rebuttal to Amy Holmes-
    The comment by Bill Clinton in no way said that Obama wasn't THAT man. Two candidates- one Republican- one Democrat- botht with the same credentials.
    Sounds to me, like most of the time, the Obama supporters that they have their own doubts and don't want to face them.
    And for the record- neither Clinton ever said anything racist either- more media twist

    August 27, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. Greg

    Wait, immigration doesn't matter to most people? Or do you mean to most Democrats? In general, I find the conventions to be pretty silly and superfluous, both Democrat and Republican feeling like venues for rhetoric pep rallies. I guess more than anything, I'm just a little nonplussed by Mr Obama's campaign – universal healthcare, affordable college, sweeping education reform, and developing new energy technologies and efficiencies (which frankly would take decades) – all proposed to be accomplished while closing the fiscal budget deficit. I find most of his ambitions to be extremely admirable, but also impossible to achieve without further harming the economy. I've yet to hear any legitimate discourse on cost control (i.e. how to pay for all of Mr Obama's goals). I really feel that the conventions should be used to explain not only why, but precisely how primaries promises will be kept during the next four years. Much as I hate to play the cynic, I expect to hear more unnecessary, empty cheerleading in Minnesota next week. This must put me among the minority of people who "care about" campaign finance.

    August 27, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  4. Thanks Puma moving on

    Your comments were sincere, heartfelt, and honest. While we sometimes disagree, let us all remember that anger, bitterness, hatred and bad wishes don't solve the problems of this Country. Further, we must keep in mind that our young voters are watching and taking their ques from us.

    Also, there are many folks out there who will not vote for Obama becasue he is black, or McCain because they see him as too old. Instead of being vicious and mean-spirited, people should take a good look in the mirror, admit their prejudices and move on. After all, do they think they are really fooling anyone?????

    August 27, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. CB

    This is the Bill Clinton I love. Im a proud Democrat tonight! We are united to take this country we love and show the world we are strong again! OBAMA/BIDEN 08!

    August 27, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  6. Sherry, Atlanta


    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-'12

    August 27, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  7. American for America

    I refuse to be a party wonk or sheep. Just because the DNC chose us a candidate doesn't mean I have to go along. I still have misgivings about Obama. Don't think I can watch any more of this convention.

    August 27, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  8. Arkansas Democrat

    Roger the best liar of our time is who you must have voted into office the last two terms. My Grandson, a Marine, was one of the first ones in Iraq and their job was to defend, at all costs, the Oil Ministry. You can't tell me we' weren't lied to by the BIGGEST LIAR OF THEM ALL. What Clinton did was between him and Hillary and didn't get thousands killed and wounded. She can forgive him, but how anyone in this country can forgive Bush is beyond me. We don't need another Republican in the White House.

    They say Obama is an elitest. If I hear McCain call his father a High Ranking Admiral one more time I'll throw up. A Admiral is a high ranking officer and we all know that without the emphasis he seems to need to put there. If you ask me an elitist is also someone who doesn't know how many houses he has!!!

    Being a POW doesn't qualify him to be President. I thank him for his service and am grateful, but not enough to vote for another Republican.

    August 27, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  9. Erika, KS

    No way can Obama match or even come close to Clinton's speech. Wish Clinton could run again. But alas, it cannot be. So here we are is a sorry choice, zero accomplishment Obama or the very experienced McCain? What's it to be? The untested or the nerves of steel. MCCAIN has been handed a gift! Regardless of how I adore and respect both Clinton's it does not change the fact that Obama has limited experience at best and he's never been tested and proved that he can lead anything.

    August 27, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  10. bs

    excellent speech by Bill Clinton. The most articulate and effective speech at these conventions that clearly laid out the reasons for electing Obama and the differences between the candidates.

    Very well done.

    August 27, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
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