When Bill Clinton is on his game, there is no more masterful politician than he.
And he was certainly on his game Wednesday night during his nominating speech for President Barack Obama. He made the case for four more years for Obama much more cogently and convincingly than the president himself has so far in this campaign.
"No president - not me or any of my predecessors - no one could have fully repaired all the damage in just four years," Clinton told the Democratic National Convention. The president "has laid the foundations for a new modern successful economy, a shared prosperity, and if you will renew the president's contract, you will feel it."
Clinton brought the audience to its feet by simply saying, "We are all in this together." Similarly, the audience cheered when he said of this year's message from the Republican Party, "We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in."
The former president's oratorical style harkens back to the days of FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan. While he occasionally goes on a bit too long, the sentences are short, the message is clear and it is delivered with an infectious energy.
Both party nominees could learn a lot by studying Clinton and his presidency. Besides a lesson in delivering an effective speech, they could also learn that governing from the center is the most effective way.
Clinton found out early that it is impossible to reach compromises from opposite ends of the political spectrum. He oversaw a vibrant, growing economy by convincing Republican moderates to reach compromises with him.
He is a master politician. We would do well to find leaders today who would emulate him.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.