As first reported by the New York Times, former president Bill Clinton will have a prominent role for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, speaking in primetime on Wednesday, Sept. 5, NBC’s Carrie Dann reports. The decision means that Vice President Biden will instead speak before the president on the final Thursday evening of the convention. The popular former president is expected to argue for Obama's economic policies in his speech. "There's no one better to cut through on economic issues and lay out the choice in the election because he understands the consequences of the policy differences" from his own presidency, an aide said.
Sources say the decision to bump Biden to the final night of the convention was made jointly by the VP and the president. "He’ll build toward the President’s speech by giving unique insights and perspective of the President’s governing character and the challenges/decisions over the last four years in a way that only he can," says the aide of Biden's role.
The AP: “The move gives the Obama campaign an opportunity to take advantage of the former president's immense popularity and remind voters that a Democrat was in the White House the last time the American economy was thriving.”
And there’s this implicit comparison to the GOP: “Obama personally asked Clinton to speak at the convention and place Obama's name in nomination, and Clinton enthusiastically accepted, officials said. Clinton speaks regularly to Obama and to campaign officials about strategy. Clinton's prominent role at the convention will also allow Democrats to embrace party unity in a way that is impossible for Republican rival Mitt Romney. George W. Bush, the last Republican to hold the White House, remains politically toxic in some circles. While Bush has endorsed Romney, he is not involved in his campaign and has said he does not plan to attend the GOP convention.”
USA Today: “The prominent role for Clinton reflects the latest truce between the two presidents, who first clashed during the 2008 Democratic primaries when Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton. More recently, the Obama team has been frustrated by Clinton comments complimenting Romney's business career and endorsing a different strategy on tax cuts.”
“In an appearance before the American Federation of Teachers conference in Detroit on Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden told attendees to look at Republicans' spending plans to see how much Republicans value education,” the Detroit Free Press writes.