Kelley (kelglitter) wrote,

"We didn't get you out of the hole in 21 months, but we did quit digging." --Bill Clinton

September 16th, that's six weeks ago, Bill Clinton appeared on the Daily Show (coincidentally, the same night that Jon Stewart announced his Rally to Restore Sanity). I personally think he hit a home run - he spent extra time after the show explaining important economic concepts to the audience. You can see his show appearance here and here and the extended interviews here and here.

Last night Barack Obama appeared. You can see his Daily Show appearance here.

Now, I am really glad President Obama appeared; he said some really good stuff. But I don't think he did as great a job as Clinton did, and I think that's in part because of their difference in speaking tactics. Obama gets up there and he says "Here's what we've been thinking about, here's what we've done, here's what we still want to do," but the "we" to whom he's referring is his administration. Clinton gets up there and he says "Here's what we've been thinking about, here's what we've done, here's what we still want to do," but when he says it, you get a sense that the "we" to whom he is referring is inclusive of you.

It's a trick of the rhetoric he's performing, but it makes a big difference. I'm a West Wing Democrat, who learned all my Republican assumptions were wrong while listening to President Bartlett. Which basically means that I still don't get it, and I need simple explanations filling out the holes in my knowledge. Clinton comes off as if I'm in the club, like I already agree with him but I might need more information, and it's true, I do. I listen to Clinton and I get excited about spreading the message.

I'm not saying Clinton was a saint, and I certainly don't intend to imply that Obama's not as smart or something; I'm just reporting my observations. Obama's appearance made me glad he was speaking up and correcting some misconceptions, but his tone was apologetic, and it's a little hard for me to get fired up about an apology.

Even so, go vote on Tuesday if you can.

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