DNC Dispatch: Dems, GOP Leaders on Clinton

Lawmakers and delegates from both parties sound off on the former president's speech

A rotating cast of lawmakers and American citizens were center-stage at the Wednesday night, speaking to a stadium packed with delegates, and millions of others watching on TV.

Automobile workers whose jobs were salvaged by President Obama's auto industry bailout in 2009 were swift to praise the current commander-in-chief; laid-off Bain Capitol employees were quick to dig into presidential-hopeful Mitt Romney, accusing him of operating businesses without a moral compass. 

The later hours housed more household names, like Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland)—who assailed Paul Ryan—and Sandra Fluke, who enumerated on the Democratic Party's commitment to women's rights.

The night's penultimate event was an hour-long speech by former president Bill Clinton, delivered with the ease of a veteran orator. Clinton lauded Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and America's middle class.

After Clinton voiced support for Obama, delegates from the 50 states followed suit, officially nominating the current president to run again come November.

Ken Jenkins, a Westchester County Legislator, said the remarks delivered during the night were impressive.

"The speeches were outstanding in setting the tone," he said. "We are better off than we were four years ago; we need to move forward. [And] it's clear, at least from my perspective, that we need to move forward with President Obama."

Some local Republicans, back from last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, FL, have been keeping a watchful eye on the Democratic happenings. Sen. Greg Ball (R-Putnam/Westchester) was not critical of Clinton, but instead Obama's alignment with the former president.

"Clinton is an always will be an amazing speaker and politician, and beyond that, Clinton was an effective and pragmatic president who worked in a bipartisan way to accomplish goals," Ball said. "But... the current president is banking his entire election on the back of President Clinton."

"I look forward to the debates between our candidate, Mitt Romney, and and the current president," Ball added. "There is only one leader and one team to take our country to the next level."

Vincent Reda, chairman of the Rockland County Republican Committee, said he didn't even tune in for Clinton.

"I have no interest at all in their convention," he said, noting he will not be watching President Obama speak Thursday night, either.

Reda added the jolt from the RNC is still lingering.

"Everybody left there electrified," he said. "It got people pumped."



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