Dr. Eric Durham on “Hill and Bill; The Clinton Factor’

People like Hillary Clinton!

This is obvious based on crowd reaction during her speech last night, and the reaction of the punditry as well. I both enjoyed and appreciated the fact that it was a TACTICALLY sound speech. She illustrated a sincere disengagement from the politics of the McCain campaign; she was clear about her unwillingness to be used as a pawn by the McCain campaign to draw votes away from Senator Obama. Her acknowledgment of the hard work of her campaigners, her acknowledgment of Susan B. Anthony (and the Seneca Falls Convention), and her reference to Harriet Tubman, signaled a Senator who understood her contribution to American History. …and at the same time, she expressed her unwavering support for Senator Barack Obama. This was the magic of Hillary Clinton’s address!

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People like Bill Clinton!

Yes, Bill is still a favorite among the electorate. He is still regarded as one of the better presidents of the late 20th century. …and yes, Black people still like Bill. As an African American, myself, I did not feel betrayed by Bill during primary season. I feel that he was victimized by the mass media….hungry for a dramatic story. His linking Obama’s campaign to that of Jesse Jackson’s campaign in South Carolina was not racist…and I believe the media played racism up. Honestly, I don’t remember what his remarks were…but I know that as I watched them, I didn’t feel anything racially disparaging was being said.

Now, are there some pride issues at play between the former President and the newcomer (Barack Obama). I’m sure it might be. I heard two radio pundits suggest that some "Alpha Male" issues were at play. I believe this to be true. But, Bill Clinton will prove himself to be an even more stellar public figure if he is able to tap into that charisma…and deliver the speech no one believes he can. Personally, I enjoy his speech making abilities more than I enjoy Hillary’s…so if he can conjure up the 1990s swagger that coaxed the American people into falling in love with him….he’ll not only do the Democratic party a favor…but the Clinton legacy a favor as well. Sure, it tough….and pride will have to be put to the side…but it is achievable. …and I believe he can do it.

-Dr. Eric Durham