Maryann Tobin

Some are calling Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., one of the best in political history.

On Wednesday night at the DNC, former Presidet Clinton did what no other American could do for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. He riled the crowd, held their attention for 48 minutes, and left them standing on their feet cheering for more. And he did it with style.

One by one, Bill Clinton stripped away every charge Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have made against President Obama. But by far, the power of Clinton's DNC speech was in its simplicity.

Clinton minced no words debunking Romney's economic plan. He said, "The numbers just don't add up," and went on to explain how he created a budget surplus as president with a single word: "arithmetic."

Clinton is not the first to call out Mitt Romney for offering a budget plan that gives such massive tax cuts for the wealthy. It not only destroys 4.2 million jobs and explodes the deficit, it crushes the middle class, the poor, and every sector of America's consumer-driven economy.

"I can describe Mitt Romney’s tax policy promises in two words: mathematically impossible," Clinton said.

"They want to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place," Clinton said. "They want to cut taxes for high-income Americans, even more than President Bush did. They want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts. They want to actually increase defense spending over a decade $2 trillion more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they’ll spend it on. And they want to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor children. As another president once said, there they go again."

It took America more than a decade to recover from the Great Depression. Considering just how deep the 2008 collapse of the US financial markets was, America has made a remarkable recovery under President Obama, in only three years, and with virtually no cooperation from Republicans in congress.

"President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. Listen to me, now. No president — no president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years."

The Republicans made it clear at their national convention last week in Tampa that they believe government is simply a vehicle to redistribute revenue from the working class to the wealthy through tax policy. Those who make it to the top reap their own rewards. Everyone else must learn to survive without the help of government.

Clinton defended the economic and social strength of the traditional American values that the Democratic Party promotes. He said, "'We're all in this together' is a better philosophy than 'you're on your own.'"

In a not-so-subtle stab at the radical Tea Party takeover of the Republican platform, Clinton made a solid case for voting a straight Democratic ticket and giving President Obama a Congress that is willing to govern.

"We Democrats — we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it," Clinton said. "Because poverty, discrimination and ignorance restrict growth," and, "when you stifle human potential, when you don’t invest in new ideas, it doesn’t just cut off the people who are affected; it hurts us all."

But perhaps the most telling line in Clinton's DNC speech was this: "Maybe it's just because I grew up in a different time, but though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate our president and a lot of other Democrats."

Full transcript of Bill Clinton's speech: New York Times

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