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Historians Praise Former President Bill Clinton’s Convention Address

Former President Bill Clinton spoke emphatically in support of Senator Barack Obama Wednesday night at the Democratic Convention. Analysts and historians react to the speech.

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    Former President Bill Clinton, would you say that he was well-received, Mark, is an understatement?

  • MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:

    Understatement, Jim. The crowd loved him. He had their hearts, and he had their attention, and he had their ears.


    And his message, David?

  • DAVID BROOKS, Columnist, New York Times:

    It was a comprehensive, almost legal argument, like a closing argument of a trial, in support of Barack Obama. He covered almost everything, put it all together into one argument.


    And all of the speculation about, oh, will Bill Clinton, you know, hold something back, will he signal something else? Forget it, huh?


    Forget it, Jim. And you'll hear over and over again the formulation that Bill Clinton developed here tonight. Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are strong at home. People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than the example of our power.


    Not sure Vladimir Putin will be impressed by the power of our example or Ahmadinejad, but it's a nice formulation.


    I found — because we had talked about it earlier, I found it interesting the way he addressed directly the alleged weaknesses of Barack Obama and compared his own…


    Yes, a couple of months ago, his campaign or his wife's campaign put out a 3 a.m. ad saying Barack Obama was too inexperienced. This was a complete rebuttal to that ad that they put out.


    Absolutely, yes. There, of course, is Hillary Clinton in the hall, waving her American flag.