Opinion Ruth Dudley Edwards

Thursday 22 March 2018

Ruth Dudley Edwards: Obama needs a masterclass from Willie

To win, the current Democratic president needs to learn from his predecessor, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

ONE blinding truth emerged from the Democratic Convention. If Bill Clinton were running for president, he would easily win.

Sure, his speech in support of Mr Obama was a bit long, but there was enough of the old magic emanating from the shameless charmer to make people nostalgic for a leader who liked people, understood politics, seemed to know what he was doing and radiated optimism. Americans love happy warriors, and Slick Willie is one of the happiest. It's not a role that fits Barack Obama well, not least because he often gives the impression he doesn't really enjoy being president.

Mr Obama's speech was a bit of a disappointment to the faithful. People have become used to the rhetoric and cadences that so excited them in 2008 and worry that their president seems unsure about the future. As New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd put it, Mr Obama is "a cold shower to Bill's warm bath".

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