Bill Clinton to evoke era of prosperity in boost to Obama
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (REUTERS) - The 1988 Democratic convention introduced Bill Clinton to the nation as a long-winded bore. The 2012 convention may cement his status as his party's most valuable weapon.
In his debut on the national stage, the young Arkansas governor didn't exactly electrify the party faithful, who cheered loudest when he said, "In closing ..." toward the end of his 35-minute speech. This time around, it's safe to say that few in the convention audience will be eager for Mr Clinton to wrap it up.
At their convention on Wednesday night, Democrats are counting on the former president to explain to voters how their lives would improve if they give President Barack Obama another four years in the White House - a tricky argument to make in a time of rising poverty, high employment and sluggish economic growth.
As a president who oversaw a growing economy and balanced budgets, Mr Clinton is a particularly effective salesman for Democrats' economic ideas, they say. His ability to sugarcoat attacks and explain complicated ideas in terms that voters can understand also will make him a valuable player in the bitter, jobs-focused battle between Mr Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, they say.