Clinton on Clinton

Mr Clinton used personal anecdotes to soften the image of his wife.
Mr Clinton used personal anecdotes to soften the image of his wife.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Former US president Bill Clinton used personal anecdotes to soften the image of his wife Hillary Clinton as he endorsed her as the strongest candidate for the White House.

"For this time, Hillary is uniquely qualified to seize the opportunities and reduce the risks we face, and she is still the best darn change- maker I have ever known," he told a rapt crowd at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday.

Mr Clinton deftly blended a personal account of how he wooed Mrs Clinton and their life together with a testimonial of her many achievements over the years in areas ranging from healthcare and education to climate change and foreign policy.

He spoke of how she had travelled to different states such as Texas, South Carolina and Alabama, trying to change people's lives for the better, and recounted how she had chaired a committee in Arkansas to recommend new education standards, which ultimately helped improve schools.

 

"This woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything. She always wants to move the ball forward. That is just who she is," he told the packed Wells Fargo Centre in Philadelphia, which cheered and waved signs that said "change maker" and "America".

 

BEST CHANGE-MAKER

For this time, Hillary is uniquely qualified to seize the opportunities and reduce the risks we face, and she is still the best darn change-maker I have ever known.

FORMER US PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON, on his wife being the strongest candidate for the White House.


NO TO STATUS QUO

This woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything. She always wants to move the ball forward. That is just who she is.

MR CLINTON, on changing people's lives.


STRONGER TOGETHER

Hillary will make us stronger together. You know it because she's spent a lifetime doing it. I hope you'll do it. I hope you'll elect her.

MR CLINTON, on the need for unity.

As first lady, he said she was "a natural to head the healthcare taskforce", and although that particular Bill failed, she "immediately went to work on solving the problems the Bill sought to address one by one".

While his speech was filled with details on Mrs Clinton's work as a public servant, Mr Clinton kept his audience engaged by weaving in nuggets on how he had tried and failed to get Mrs Clinton to marry him.

He succeeded only on the third attempt, after buying a house in Arkansas that she liked in order to force her hand.

He told her: "While you were gone, I bought it, you have to marry me now."

"The third time was the charm," he added.

The 42nd president also pointed out that while she was busy fighting to better the lives of Americans, she was "first and foremost a mother" to their daughter Chelsea.

Acknowledging that there were differences between the woman he had described and the one the Republicans had spoken of last week, he said "one is real and the other is made up", adding that the Republicans had created a "cartoon alternative".

Reiterating the call for unity at the end of his speech, Mr Clinton said: "Hillary will make us stronger together. You know it because she's spent a lifetime doing it. I hope you'll do it. I hope you'll elect her."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2016, with the headline 'Clinton on Clinton'. Print Edition | Subscribe