Democratic convention: Bill Clinton to fight for Obama

Democratic convention: Bill Clinton to fight for Obama
# 06 September 2012 04:29 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Former US President Bill Clinton is preparing to deliver a prime-time defence of Barack Obama, on the second night of the Democratic convention, APA reports quoting BBC.

Mr Clinton will formally propose President Obama as Democratic nominee.

He will tell the crowd that Mr Obama has "laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy", according to excerpts of his remarks.

Earlier, organisers moved Mr Obama’s acceptance speech from an outdoor stadium, citing poor weather forecasts.

They moved Thursday’s speech from Charlotte’s 74,000-seat Bank of America stadium to the 20,000 capacity indoor arena where the rest of the convention is taking place.

But the capacity of the Time Warner Cable Arena quickly became a focus of attention as hundreds of people were reportedly locked out of the building because of capacity issues during the evening session.

President Obama was reported to be attending the convention, with reports saying he would be in the hall for Mr Clinton’s speech.

In a procedural surprise as Wednesday’s events got under way, the convention reinstated language from the 2008 platform describing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The party faced criticism from Republican nominee Mitt Romney and others for omitting the Jerusalem language from a section in support of Israel.

In confusing scenes a voice vote on the language was called three times. Despite loud boos in the audience, convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa said he had determined that two-thirds of the convention had voted in favour.

Reports emerged shortly afterwards that Mr Obama had personally intervened to change the platform’s language.
’A total mess’

Wednesday night’s speech by Bill Clinton is being seen as the high point of a revitalised relationship between the two presidents and as an attempt to boost Mr Obama’s appeal with white working-class voters.

Polls show these traditional Democratic voters are wary of Mr Obama, but Mr Clinton has a strong record in winning their support.

The convention speech follows an appearance by Bill Clinton in an Obama campaign commercial.

The pair have previously sparred, most notably during the 2008 primaries when Mr Clinton supported his wife Hillary’s bid for the nomination, and they are known not have a close personal bond.

According to excerpts of Mr Clinton’s speech released by the Obama campaign the former president will criticise Republicans and argue that Mr Obama is still in the process of cleaning up their mistakes.

"In Tampa [at the Republican convention], the Republican argument against the president’s re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn’t finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in," Mr Clinton will say.

"If you want a ’you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all’ society, you should support the Republican ticket.

"If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility - a ’we’re-all-in-this-together’ society - you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden."

In a interview with NBC News, Mr Clinton said he was "more enthusiastic" about Mr Obama than he was four years ago, "because I’ve seen him dig in the dirt and fight for change, I’ve seen him make things happen".

Democrats hope the former president, who oversaw a booming economy and balanced budgets during two terms in the White House, can help dispel voter perceptions that Mr Romney would do a better job than Mr Obama.

The former president’s speech will cap a second evening of speakers.

Earlier, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby Network were among a string of speakers.

Ms Pelosi warned that "democracy was on the ballot" in November.

"Republicans support opening the floodgates to special interest money and suppressing the right to vote," she said. "It’s just plain wrong."

Sister Simone Campbell won a warm reception, criticising vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s congressional budget proposal.

"We all share responsibility for creating an economy where parents with jobs earn enough to take care of their families," she said, saying that Mr Ryan’s plan would cut taxes for the wealthy.

Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren will speak immediately before Mr Clinton. She is fighting Republican incumbent Scott Brown in a closely watched race.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been drafted to work with Priorities USA, a political fundraising committee supporting Mr Obama, the Washington Post reported.

Mr Emanuel, who addressed the convention on Tuesday, has a reputation as a formidable fundraiser, a boon to Democrats who have not attracted as much money from donors as Republicans in recent months.

On Tuesday, Michelle Obama’s speech was one of the few that did not mention Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, by name.

She told a crowd of supporters that her husband’s experiences and struggles had guided his decisions as president.

"Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it," she said, adding: "He wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love."

Meanwhile, Mr Romney is expected to spend the week away from the campaign trail, preparing for a series of debates with Mr Obama.

But vice-presidential running mate Paul Ryan kept up the attack, telling Fox News: "What you did not hear [at the Democratic convention] is that people are better off than they were four years ago."

Republicans are focusing their argument on the fragile US economy, which has had 42 months of unemployment surpassing 8% - the longest such period since the end of World War II.

No president since the Great Depression has been re-elected with joblessness so high.
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