Bill Clinton’s just getting started

Before the party conventions, Pew found that the speech people most wanted to hear was Bill Clinton’s.  With approval ratings close to 70% — compared to around 10% for House Republicans like vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan — Clinton is widely trusted. Clinton’s high approval is why the Romney-Ryan campaign invoked Clinton themselves, as part of misinforming people about welfare reform.

Clinton’s speech has been widely praised and has passed initial fact checks.

But Bill Clinton is just getting started. He will likely appear in more campaign ads. And, according to reports this morning, he will be campaigning for Obama in hugely important swing states Florida and Ohio.

In Florida, Clinton will be an important presence, explaining policy differences on Medicare and Medicaid. Look for him to reprise his explanation about how many seniors rely on Medicaid for nursing home care. But Clinton can also appeal to other populations in Florida.

And, while there will be a range of arguments Clinton will make in Ohio, he’ll reiterate the candidates’ differences on the auto bailout. PolitiFact Ohio notes here are 850,000 jobs in Ohio linked to the auto industry. Romney famously said, “Let Detroit go bankrupt,” while Obama supported a rescue package.

Given the polarization of the American public, there may not be much of a bounce coming out of this convention. But Clinton’s presence in the campaign will likely move some Americans and, in a close race, that matters.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.