Dem’s “‘Big Dog’ so eloquently beat the liberal drum at Nokia
When he explained how Denmark has already capitalized on wind energy and that Wal-Mart is the first U.S. company to make a big push to market compact fluorescent bulbs, I had stop and put down my notepad to collect myself.
Last Thursday, at the Nokia Theatre, Bill Clinton delivered messages about seizing opportunities of the 21st century and recovering the promise of America.
So articulate, inspiring and charismatic At times, he’d enrapture his 4,000 ticket-buying followers. But if you remembered that the current White House occupant has been there for seven years, the thought could almost make you cry. Even if Bush received 12 degrees from Yale, he could never sound this good.
Instead of stumping for Hillary, Clinton’s lecture was like a lesson plan and organized into big questions: “How would I like to leave the world?” And then he’d explain his answers by listing the points he was about to address.
In between, he shifted effortlessly between globalization, inequality, AIDS, wasteful spending on health-care administration costs, inflation, terrorism and war.
He identified problems. But more importantly, he emphasized the need for solutions. Clinton discussed the power of public good and the fortunes we squandered by doubting clean energy. His impressions of Nelson Mandela and Yitzhak Rabin, whom Clinton “loved,” were especially precious.
This Clinton was quite different from the ’90s version. Inside the Nokia Theater, the Democratic Party’s so-called “Big Dog” wasn’t trying to win votes, nor was he deflecting criticism from conservative detractors. This was Bill, the folksy visionary who now appears far wiser than we remember.
He said he loved being our president. And if term limits didn’t exists, he’d said he’d have to be carried out of the White House in a pine box.
Daniel A. Kusner
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 16, 2007.