Opinion: Bill Clinton's big message

Americans watching Bill ClintonBill ClintonAll five living former presidents to attend hurricane relief concert The Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE address the Democratic convention were reminded that throughout the presidencies since the inaugural of John Kennedy, the Democratic presidents created tens of millions more jobs than the Republican presidents, while a Republican president named Dwight Eisenhower supported efforts for equal rights and construction of roads that are anathema to Republicans today.

Media pundits often view the appeal and success of President Clinton in horizontal and tactical terms (is he moving left or right?), but the political greatness of Bill Clinton is that he views the world and addresses voters in vertical and historical terms (correctly describing President Obama as part of a long history of Democratic presidents who created far more jobs than Republican presidents, and correctly describing today's Republicans as extreme in ways Republicans historically were not).

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When President Clinton uses the word "hate" to describe Republican attacks on President Obama, he knows whereof he speaks. Attacks by Republicans against President Clinton began shortly after his inaugural, continued through impeachment attack against him, and included unusually personal broadsides against his wife, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE, and his vice president, Al GoreAl GoreCNN to host town hall featuring Nancy Pelosi Tucker Carlson: Calling others 'racist' used to be a 'big deal' West Coast states eye early presidential primaries   MORE. Sound familiar?

I believe historians will place President Clinton in the ranks of first-tier presidents. He rose above the ugly attacks against him and met the challenges of the modern economy, creating a decade of huge job growth that ended with the Republican president who succeeded him, and leaving a big budget surplus that was destroyed by the Republican president and Republican Congress that followed him.

Bill Clinton is the nation's most powerful and credible advocate for anyone aspiring to the presidency. He is one of only 44 people who ever served as president. Voters remember that he was very good at it and that America prospered because of it.

Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama criticizes lack of diversity in politics: one side is 'all white, all men' Obama interrupts Michelle's appearance with 25th anniversary tribute Michelle Obama: Young people feel what's happening now 'not what they were taught' MORE's magnificent convention speech was powerful testimony to the story of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaAll five living former presidents to attend hurricane relief concert Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Interior moves to delay Obama’s methane leak rule MORE as a person, husband, father and president; Bill Clinton's spectacular convention speech was powerful testimony for Barack Obama as a president and leader who ended monthly job losses measured in the hundreds of thousands, which was the legacy of George W. Bush, and began a new era of job creation.

Bill Clinton's big message is that we want an America where we are in this together, not an America where it is every man for himself, and the way to achieve this is to reelect the president, not bring to power the party that tries to demonize everyone it opposes.

Bill Clinton's big message is that Barack Obama is a worthy legatee of a great tradition of liberal Democratic presidents and even moderate Republican presidents such as Eisenhower.

Bill Clinton's big message is this: Under President Obama, things are getting better. Stick with President Obama and things will be OK. The American economy will thrive again. Morning in America will arrive again.

Bill Clinton's big message is this: Do we want to return America to losing 700,000 jobs a month, which is what President Obama inherited, or continue creating new jobs every month, which is what President Obama began?

Democrats are proud of President Clinton. We are proud of his partner and current secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. We are proud of our 2004 nominee, Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryFor the sake of national security, Trump must honor the Iran deal Bernie Sanders’s 1960s worldview makes bad foreign policy DiCaprio: History will ‘vilify’ Trump for not fighting climate change MORE (D-Mass.), a statesman called to make an important prime-time speech for President Obama and Vice President Biden, another legatee of the great tradition. We are proud of President Kennedy, and his daughter Caroline, and the late lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy. They all give powerful testimony on behalf of President Obama.

Who do Republicans offer to answer President Clinton? It is not their last president, George W. Bush, or his vice president, Richard B. Cheney. It is not their earlier president, George H.W. Bush, or his vice president, Dan Quayle. It is not their last nominee for vice president, Sarah Palin. Trump? Perry? Gingrich? Cain? Santorum? McConnell? Cantor? Akin?

Can anyone remember what Mitt Romney said in his acceptance speech one week ago?

Bill Clinton was a brilliantly successful president who offers a big message in support of Barack Obama. It is a message as large as Kennedy's New Frontier, as good as the jobs created under Clinton, as noble as the "in this together" spirit of both Roosevelts. It is a big message that remains alive in the presidency of Barack Obama, which President Clinton calls on Americans to continue for a second term. 



Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.