Only Bill Clinton can do a speech like the one that closed day two of the Democratic National Convention last night. It was 50 minutes of detailed policy talk, compare-and-contrast mathematics, fact checking, and revisiting of ancient history—and it was a total, riveting pleasure to hear.
It also reminded that the major speakers at the Republican convention were not at all interested in talking to people on this level. There was little-to-no policy discussion from the RNC headliners (and what there was had a hard time surviving fact checks). How do Republicans expect to convince voters to change direction if they won't explain their policy proposals?
Part of Clinton's brilliance is his understanding that the American people want to be sold a plan to get from here to there, want to be treated as if we're CEOs sitting around the table and he's the serious but not-too-slick pitchman trying to explain to a smart crowd why his ideas are the ones to purchase.
Which gets the relationship right.
The Republican convention, by contrast, felt more like an exercise in predatory lending. Hey, OK, so listen to this great story about me that has nothing to do with anything. I'm a real nice guy, would I lie to you? No! Now sign here, let's not worry about the details, let's just get this new thing going for you right now. It's going to be great!
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