Voters on Bill Clinton's Speech: Former President Backs Obama with Aplomb

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Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Yahoo! News asked voters to share their reactions to Bill Clinton's address at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday. In their own words, here are perspectives from voters across the nation.

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It's hard to stay an undecided voter after hearing President Bill Clinton's nominating speech. His message was clear -- the road to recovery is l-o-n-g.

The best national economy in my lifetime was during Clinton's terms in office. People were spending money and banks were actually lending it. People had jobs. Homes were constructed and businesses started. We need that economy again -- not just for us, but for future generations of Americans as well.

I want the country of shared opportunity and shared responsibility, the "we're-all-in-this-together" society that Clinton spoke of tonight. That's the kind of country I want for my child and future grandchildren.

-- Ronna Ross Pennington

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Few doubt the power that Clinton has to fire up an audience. Clinton alternated between charm and attack, but he offered very few details as to why voters should choose to stay the course with Barack Obama and renew his contract -- other than to blame the current economic situation on the prior administration and hatred and a lack of cooperation from Republicans.

I like Clinton, but I disagree with him. Neither I nor the country is better off. I was employed four years ago. It was claimed that 4.5 million jobs have been created by Obama; FactCheck says only 300,000 new net jobs in four years, an amount that's embarrassingly too little too late.

-- Lyn Brooks

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Bill Clinton's remarks Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention were both inspiring and heartfelt for this voter. I was a young child when Clinton was in office, but I remember the feeling when he was in office. It was that same feeling that urged me to vote for Barack Obama in 2008, and it was the feeling I got again Wednesday night: hope.

The former president's words hit especially hard, since under his administration, poverty and unemployment rates were reduced, and the wealth gap for minorities closed.

As a voter, I think the Democrats' platform will do more to lift people out of poverty and save even more from ever having to get that far. My vote has thus far been in favor of President Obama. Bill Clinton's speech only helped solidify that.

-- Eric Bauer

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Clinton reminded me and millions of other voters that President Obama stopped the nation's descent into a full-blown depression and that he has added 4.5 million private-sector jobs. The former president also pointed out it was Obama who kept the American auto industry from collapse while Mitt Romney was willing to let the chips fall where they may.

Although Clinton's speech wasn't as emotional as Michelle Obama's, it was just as persuasive. Did it influence my vote? Probably not, but I feel that Clinton's influence will have a positive effect on Obama's campaign.

-- LaWanda Shields

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Bill Clinton arrived on the DNC floor with vigor and energy, and he renewed the Democratic message, imploring Americans to decide what kind of country we want to live in. Do we want a winner-takes-all society, one in which we're all on our own? Then we should support the Republican ticket.

Or as he put it: "If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities -- a we're-all-in-it-together society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden."

-- Georgia Makitalo

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I sincerely doubt anyone could find fault with Bill Clinton and his presentation at the Democratic National Convention. Charisma and excellent public-speaking skills served him and the attendees in good stead. He covered issues from Medicare to student loans. I appreciate his acknowledgment of the rise in housing prices in some locations, an indication that the economy is indeed on the rebound.

He stated that "in the real world, cooperation works better" and that it is better than conflict.

Cooperation is needed to repair the problems with our economy. The speech was good and the statistics enough to sway me more toward the Obama-Biden ticket. The point about arithmetic working in Washington and affordable education for our children strikes close to this teacher's heart.

-- Lori Gunn

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He reminded me of what was so fascinating and irritating about him in the 1990s.

That thing was Clinton's total and relentless lack of shame. How else can one explain his quoting Ronald Reagan, a man who favored cutting taxes and increasing defense spending, to attack modern Republicans for wanting to carry out the same policies?

Clinton's apologia for Obama and his various failures was eloquent, enthusiastically delivered, overly long at about 50 minutes, and divorced from objective reality.

He executed the speech with an air of astonishment, whether at the perfidy he was accusing the Republicans of or at the fact that the people in the hall were buying what he was selling. He was having the time of his life and it showed.

-- Mark Whittington

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I must admit I was looking forward to hearing Clinton's speech. He has always been a great speaker and has that twinkle in his eye that allows even the most cynical person to fall into the "convinced" category after hearing him talk.

His approach was exactly what I expected -- very well-spoken with a loose sense of humor and the charm he has maintained since the early 1990s. All that said, he did not "sell" me on voting for President Obama this November. Neither did he "force my hand" on voting for Mitt Romney. It may be time to look at a third option.

-- D. Emile Delaney

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Bill Clinton, who you might say has a way with words, delivered the most powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention so far. He is also arguably the coolest president in American history.

-- David Garrett Jr.

 

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