I watched Bill Clinton’s speech last night with anticipation. He’s a gifted orator and he has a Svengali-like ability to bring a crowd along with him on whatever fantastic journey he has cooked up. It’s all lies, mind you, but you enjoy the ride because, well, wow. No one has taken you there like that before. The first five minutes promised to be one of those speeches.
What was this? Was I fooling around tidying up my desk, letting in the dog, and wandering to the kitchen? Bill Clinton was boring. That was something new.
As with everything the Clintons, there’s a method to that madness. Whereas at Obama’s convention there was a competitive one-up-me-bro attitude, at Hillary’s convention, she’s got to be the star and the only way for that to happen is if everyone is boring. Bill and Barack battled on the stage and both came out looking like rockstars. Bill Clinton last night was reduced to being Hillary’s doddering husband: innocent, cute in the grandpa sort of way, harmless, and…boring compared to Hillary.
The problem with this is that Hillary is so horrible at public speaking and so grating on everyone’s nerves that to be worse than that for a political natural like Bill Clinton takes some doing.
But Bill Clinton is a smart guy and flexible and he wants Hillary in the power position and has as much to gain as anyone so he put a sock in it and gave the sleepiest speech of his life.
He played his role: Boring Bubba.
The grand plan would have worked if Hillary hadn’t had her weird satellite appearance in her shiny red suit, surrounded by odd people in her living room looking like Chairman Mao at the end of the night. Who thought that was a good idea? It sucked every bit of energy out of the room and made everyone forget Bill’s boring speech which was still better than whatever this was.
Bill’s magic has its limits, it seems.