Former President Bill Clinton headlined the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, delivering a passionate and personal stump speech on behalf of his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Clinton opened his speech on a personal note. "In the spring of 1971 I met a girl," he began, telling the story of his first encounter with Hillary Rodham. "Believe it or not, momentarily, I was speechless."
Clinton explained how his future wife influenced him and helped steer him towards a life in government: "Hillary opened my eyes to a whole new world of public service by private citizens."
Clinton maintained a personal focus throughout the speech, using tales about his family as a recurrent narrative thread as he weaved a long tale recounting his and Hillary's long careers in government, calling Hillary "the best darn changemaker I've ever met in my entire life."
Clinton's intensely personal speech included accounts of his engagement to Hillary (which he said required multiple marriage proposals) and the birth of their daughter Chelsea:
To the surprise of some, Clinton made no mention of his impeachment or the sex scandals of the 1990s in the linear narrative of his marriage, which otherwise painted an intimate picture:
Clinton's most memorable moment came when he turned to the choice facing voters in the 2016 election, saying that the difference between the Republican and Democratic campaign narratives is that "One is real, the other is made up."
Clinton returned to the personal to wrap up his speech: "I've lived a long, full, blessed life. It really took off when I met and fell in love with that girl in the spring of 1971."
Response to Clinton's performance was generally positive, with the former president even drawing compliments from some conservatives: