CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former President Bill Clinton's speech on Wednesday night was a tour de force that exhibited his best qualities as an easily relatable communicator and effective yet likeable attack dog. And in a telling nod toward its effectiveness, the one aspect that Republicans felt comfortable attacking was its length of nearly 50 mintues.
Some conservatives didn't bother with that. Appearing on CNN shortly after Clinton finished, Alex Castellanos, a longtime cable commentator and former aide to Mitt Romney, spoke in awe of the 42nd president's address.
"I would recommend to my friend Paul [Begala] here, tonight when everybody leaves, lock the doors. You don't have to come back tomorrow. This convention is done," Castellanos said. "This will be the moment that probably reelected Barack Obama. Bill Clinton saved the Democratic Party once, it was going too far left, he came in, the new Democrats took it to the center. He did it again tonight."
This is a classic cable news overstatement. Certainly a bit more time is needed before declaring the convention over, let alone the election. But the comment still underscores the advantage the Democrats have in being able to trot out a former president to help with the sell. While Clinton brought down the house at the Democratic convention, both former Presidents Bush addressed the Republican convention via a largely humorous, somewhat nostalgic video.