A Preview of Bill Clinton’s Speech Tonight?

Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel brings up the fact that Clinton spoke to the Democrat faithful in Wisconsin when Barack Obama was too busy raising money in every state around Wisconsin to stop in and fire up the troops.  Clinton gave a fiery speech excoriating Republicans for stopping the Obama agenda and Gilbert expects many of the same themes tonight:

It was only three months ago that tonight’s featured Democratic Convention speaker, former President Bill Clinton, came to Milwaukee to campaign for Tom Barrett against Gov. Scott Walker in the June 5 recall election. Clinton railed against what he termed an uncompromising Republican Party. To the degree that Clinton goes on the offensive tonight against Republicans, we could hear some echoes of his June 1 Milwaukee speech at Pere Marquette Park.

At that rally, Clinton presented himself as an expert of sorts on the ingredients for national prosperity, saying, “I think I know a little bit about what would bring America back, what would bring economic recovery.” Clinton said a lot of communities have already come back economically, and they “all have one thing in common: they are involved in creative cooperation, not constant conflict.”

He framed the campaign as a debate between people “who want to work together to solve problems and people who want to divide and conquer.” “Everywhere I go in America, everywhere I go in the world, the only thing that’s working is when you get everybody who’s got a stake in the game in there and treat them with respect and people go forward together. That’s how you get out of a ditch. You get out of a ditch when people stand on each other’s shoulders, and somebody gets to the top and reaches down and pulls everybody up.”

Clinton argued that today’s GOP represents the antithesis of that spirit. He talked about how prominently Republicans had figured in the Wisconsin Progressive tradition, saying, “That’s gone now.”   Clinton extolled the notion of “an economy of shared prosperity when times are good and shared sacrifice when times are not.”

He said Wisconsin had voted for him against incumbent Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992 even though — he said — it was one of “only two” states that was better off economically than four years earlier. “Nonetheless you understood in the long run we had to build a nation of shared prosperity, shared responsibility, one nation, undivided.  When a child in Wisconsin says the Pledge of Allegiance, it is a rebuke to the far right, winner-take-all, take-no-prisoners, divide-and-conquer, constant-conflict philosophy of government.”

At the beginning of his speech, Clinton told the crowd, “The great thing about not being president is you can say whatever you want. Nobody has to care any more, but you can say it.”

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