Last night, Bill Clinton gave a 48 minute speech that so far is the most memorable of the convention season. Well, the most memorable for it's own merit, and not a failed gimmick.

President Clinton has a gift. Not just a gift for public speaking--that would be an understatement. What Clinton does is talk, and demand listening. He breaks conventional political rhetoric laws by stretching the boundaries of what will work in the context of a national speech. When Obama, or Romney, or Clint Eastwood ramble, it's a slow going stumble of ums and ahs and nonsense. When Bill Clinton rambles, he deconstructs complex arguments about Medicare.

Bill Clinton said something that I hope we remember for the next four years regardless of who wins in November. He said he doesn't hate his political opponents nearly as much as Republicans hate Obama. This is coming from the guy who was impeached for lying about his sex life. If anyone has any reason to hate Republicans for purely personal reasons, it's him. But he doesn't, and instead he talked about how important cooperation is in Washington. Sure, his broader message was "we could cooperate more if the Republican weren't such jerks about everything," but the sentiment can still be applied. We can disagree on substantive issues, and we can even work hard at keeping the other teams agenda from taking off. But we should emulate Bill Clinton's respect for his opponents. He talked kindly of George W. Bush last night--something not even any republicans were able to do in their convention. He's thrown his full support behind Barack Obama, even after a brutal primary campaign against Hillary in 2008. Bill Clinton is becoming the elder statesman America needs--strong on his principles, unapologetic about his intelligence and wisdom, yet civil and generous toward those who despise him.

Bill Clinton was given a task with this speech; explain to America exactly why they should reelect Barack Obama. He did that. It was long, nuanced, and won't fit on a bumper sticker. But he had faith in his audience, and didn't dumb down his rhetoric into talking points or slogans.

He brought back memories of a time when politics wasn't about birth certificates, or tea parties, or birth control, or tax returns, or Paul Ryan Goslings, or empty chairs. Just good old fashioned sex scandals. We've come so far, and sometimes it's just nice to reminisce.

- Cody Ray Shafer

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