Clinton Launches "Tough, Sustained" Attack On Bush's Record
Last night, Democratic delegates heard from the party's top leaders of the recent past. Overall, the media coverage of the speeches was quite favorable, especially for the impassioned speech from former President Bill Clinton.
The Washington Post reports this morning that Bill Clinton led the Democratic National Convention Monday night "with a tough and sustained critique of President Bush's policies and a partisan rallying cry to delegates to convert their bitterness over the disputed 2000 election into fresh energy aimed at electing John F. Kerry in November." The Post notes that speeches last night from Clinton, Gore and Carter "sent a jolt of energy through Boston's FleetCenter that got the convention off on the high note that organizers had hoped for." The Post adds, "Despite claims by Kerry campaign officials and Democratic Party leaders that this convention would accentuate the positive, the first night's speeches echoed the same criticisms of Bush that Kerry, Edwards and other candidates for the Democratic nomination have sounded throughout the campaign."
The New York Times adds that Clinton used "humor and a piercing attack to argue that Mr. Bush had unraveled a prosperous and well-respected nation that Mr. Clinton left him four years ago." The Los Angeles Times reports the Clinton speech, which "electrified the convention hall," was "the only major address carried by national TV networks."
In his Washington Post column, TV critic Tom Shales writes, "Searching for a way to describe Hillary Clinton's popularity with Democrats, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings said last night, as the crowd at the FleetCenter in Boston cheered her, 'Senator Clinton is a rock star.' Maybe so, but guess who was about to come out there and set the Democratic National Convention on its ear: a veritable combination of Elvis, the Beatles, James Brown and Bruce Springsteen put together. There he was, huger than life: Bill Clinton, who after his introduction by his wife raced breathlessly through what seemed a 40-minute speech crammed into about 25 and got the 2004 presidential race roaringly underway. He was just plain magnificent."
Gore Asks Democrats To Convert Frustration Into Revenge.
The Miami Herald reports that "it fell to the party's most recent and one of its most ill-starred presidential candidates to make some of the most telling points.'You win some, you lose some, and then there's that little-known third category,' Gore told the crowd during an impassioned but measured speech." The Herald adds, "The man who lost the White House to Bush in an election ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and 537 votes in Florida, implored Democrats to convert the frustration and bitterness of 2000 into revenge and triumph in 2004."