What Bill Clinton did tonight at the Democratic National Convention was go back… wayyy back.
“In the spring of 1971, I met a girl,” recounted the two-term president of the United States, kicking off a long and winding speech that outlined his 45-year relationship with wife Hillary, and her 45 years of public service. And as Bill discussed the origins of their love story — including two rejected marriage proposals — he managed to tick off nearly every public- and private-sector initiative the current Democratic presidential nominee has tackled on behalf of women, children, immigrants and the working poor.
“This woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything. She always wants to move the ball forward. That’s just who she is,” said Bill, while praising Hillary for accomplishing “more positive change-making before she was 30 than many public officials do in a lifetime in office.
“You could drop her into any trouble spot — pick one — come back in a month, and somehow, some way she will have made it better,” Bill argued, noting Hillary had a track record of crossing party lines to get the job done. “In 1997, [Hillary] teamed with the House Minority Leader Tom DeLay, who maybe disliked me more than any of Newt Gingrich’s crowd. They worked on a bill together to increase adoptions of children out of foster care,” Bill noted. “She wanted to do it because she knew that Tom DeLay, for all our differences, was an adoptive parent, and she honored him for doing that.”
That said, Bill cautioned, “A real changemaker represents a real threat” — which is why he contended the Republican party is attempting to cast his wife as “a cartoon alternative,” despite his contention that she is “the best darn changemaker I have ever known.”
In conclusion, Bill added, “Speeches like this are fun,” but “actually doing the work is hard.”