The Ticket

Schumer on Clinton: ‘If every American watched that speech the election would be over’

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Ticket

President Obama greets former President Clinton in Charlotte. (Getty)

Bill Clinton's 48-minute keynote speech on Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte electrified the party, political pundits and, of course, people on Twitter. So it's no surprise that the former president's performance was the focus of the Thursday morning quarterbacks assembled by America's morning shows.

On CNN's "Early Start," New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said that if all voters had watched Clinton's speech, the election would be all but over.

"He hit it out of the park," Schumer said. " Let's put it like this: If every American watched that speech the election would be over, and he perfectly teed it up for the president with all of this talk.

"You had Michelle Obama talking about what the president believes in and who he cares about," Schumer continued. "President Clinton explained the past. Now it is just ready for Barack Obama to explain what he will do in the future. This convention has a rhythm, it has a direction, it has an excitement. I can't predict whether there will be a big bounce after it. But I would bet the predicate for a gradual ascension of the Democratic ticket in November."

Schumer dismissed the notion that Clinton's delivery was too professorial.

"You go to some black churches and they go 'Preach, baby, preach,' to the minister," he said. "This was, 'Teach, baby, teach.' He was teaching America."

The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza wondered if Clinton's speech was too good--exposing the Democratic Party's inability to communicate.

"As a Democratic leader do you ever look and speak and say, 'You know what, we as a party have failed'?" Lizza asked Schumer.

"That's like saying every mathematician has failed because they are not Albert Einstein," Schumer responded. "I mean, he is the best."

[Related: What are they saying about Bill Clinton's big speech today?]

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham agreed.

"Here you had a guy offering the blessing in full paragraphs with everything except a whiteboard and PowerPoint," Meacham said. "I thought it was a remarkable speech in the sense of he continues to hold that remarkable capacity he held as a president to explain."

On ABC's "Good Morning America," Jake Tapper called Clinton's relationship with the White House a complicated "psychodrama."

"For that reason the White House views President Clinton almost as an independent voice to validate President Obama's economic arguments," Tapper said. "That's what they wanted him to do last night, and that's what he did."

[#HashOut on location: Who had a better first term, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama?]

"Bill Clinton simply owned the room here," David Gregory said on NBC's "Today" show. "Stayed longer than he was supposed to, but nobody seemed to mind. This was a speech that was a pitch to swing voters. He makes a positive reference to President Bush about aid to Africa, but it was also brutally partisan. He talked about the hatred the Republicans have for this president. Above all it was an appearance that was the height of political stagecraft. This was the moment, a surprise showing by the president and a political embrace for the predecessor designed to speak volumes."

"It is a question for historians like Jon Meacham to decide after [President Obama's time in office] whether Barack Obama's people know how to run a federal government," added Joe Scarborough, host of "Morning Joe." "But there is no doubt these people know how to put on a convention. They know how to run a general election campaign."

View Comments (3278)