Bill Clinton was a pretty special capstone to a drudgery of speeches at the DNC this evening.
During his presidency, people we knew would say that Clinton reminded them of my dad. That they talked, even looked similar.
You might as well have said my dad was a mangy street mongrel than to have compared him to Bill Clinton. Of all the people that hated President Clinton, on the right, my dad had to be like No. 1 or 2, right ahead of Limbaugh but maybe just behind Paula Jones.
I never really saw it during most of his time in office – the comparison to my father. But, I remember the tour of the White House Clinton gave for the annual Christmas special. I guess the last one. I remember, at the time, thinking how effortlessly smart he seemed. People had always said it, but I couldn’t get past the alleged infidelities and petulant smirking to ever really give him a chance.
I think the first time it hit me was the Chris Wallace interview, many years later. He was so sharp. Defensive but accurate and lethally persuasive. Perfect recall and detail, albeit his version. And, that’s when I heard it all. The cadence and the passion. The charisma and force of a southern man who knew how to fight with words.
And, now I can’t watch Clinton without thinking about my dad. (Mercifully, he is unlikely to see this post. Rap news isn’t really his thing.) But, if you do, Dad, I mean it for all the things that could ever be said good about Clinton or any man. Adamancy. Conviction. Strength.
I’m proud my dad is pitched so perfectly to Clinton, in intonation if not ideology.
This site is purposely non-partisan, for the ethical demands of my work (job) and out of some philosophical deference to a healthy conversation about politics.
But, I feel moved to say that, as part of a generation of conservative youth raised essentially to despise him, I honestly mourn the missed opportunities of Clinton’s presidency and my chance to have appreciated him. I feel sadly robbed.
I’m a different political person than I was back then. But, my views on Clinton turned a corner long before many of my policy positions began to move. It’s a reminder to be careful in how we view the individuals who we perceive as political opponents.
Clinton said it best tonight: there’s good politics and then there’s real life. Cooperation is what works in real life. Whether your Romney or Obama this fall, don’t let a theatrical hatred of the other, a product largely of modern marketing, blind you to the decent and capable men they both can be. You might be surprised who you see in one or both many years after it will be too late to matter anymore.
There was so much material tonight. My head was going to explode for thinking about all the possible songs, parody and straight. A little about the roll call. A little about Clinton. Updated after President Obama’s speech tonight.
Rally to reasonableness.
Performed by ipoet. Music produced by a new producer to the site, Dave Santos. Def won’t be the last.
Today’s song blog here: