Cleaver, Clinton Set to Take Stage at DNC
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former President Bill Clinton and Missouri U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver are set to speak on Wednesday evening on the second night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Clinton, still enourmously popular among Democrats and many independent voters 12 years after leaving office, is scheduled to speak last on Wednesday night.
“Expect Clinton to deliver the most powerful case for re-election that is made at the Democratic convention,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an expert on presidential speech and director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, to the Associated Press.
According to a recent Gallup Poll, two-thirds of Americans – and half of all Republicans – view Bill Clinton favorably.
In 2008, Clinton was a noted detractor of then-candidate Barack Obama, who defeated Clinton’s wife, current U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, for the Democratic presidential nomination – even going as far as to memorably claim that Obama’s campaign “played the race card” against him during the campaign.
Also speaking will be U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and another 2008 supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In an interview this week with Politic365.com, Cleaver says that it’s important for African American voters to be energized and willing to stand in line to vote for Obama.
“We’ve got to have an energized Black vote,” said Cleaver to Politic365. “When I say energized, we’ve got to get African-Americans to the point where they’re willing to stand in line for two hours to vote. We’ve got to get African-Americans to the point where they come to the headquarters in cities all around this nation and volunteer and get signs and go out and create the atmosphere that a second term is inevitable. We’ve got to create an atmosphere of inevitability. We don’t have it yet so we’re working on it.”
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to close the convention on Thursday evening.