Bewitched by Bill: ABC Raves Over Clinton's Speech

After hyping that Bill Clinton might deliver "his patented rocket fuel" to the DNC on Wednesday night, ABC swooned over his "perfect tone" and compared him to an "old pro."

"Strikes me, George, like one of those movies where the old pro comes out of retirement, filled with vitality, and does he know how to ride the waves inside this arena," gushed Diane Sawyer. Former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos called it "the best nomination a man could hope for."

"I think it was like actually perfect tone, and as Donna mentioned along the way, I think he just helped seriously close the enthusiasm gap that the President came in here with," lauded Matthew Dowd. "Bill Clinton probably just made the single best argument for his [Obama's]  reelection," said Stephanopoulos.

And ABC did its part in upping the ante before Clinton's address. "One of the most formidable competitors in modern politics, former President Bill Clinton will enter this arena, stride across that stage, and try to give his patented rocket fuel to the President, George," Sawyer introduced ABC's coverage of the convention.

"He [Clinton] is jumping up and down on his toes. He is ready to go. He likes nothing better then appearing before a Democratic Convention," touted Stephanopoulos just before the speech.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on ABC's coverage of the Democratic National Convention on September 5 at 11:23 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

DIANE SAWYER: And there he was, the former President Bill Clinton. Strikes me, George, like one of those movies where the old pro comes out of retirement, filled with vitality, and does he know how to ride the waves inside this arena.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: There's the man he nominated, right there, coming out of the stage. After getting the best nomination a man could hope for. President Obama's been running for president about a year and a half, since April 2011. Bill Clinton probably just made the single best argument for his reelection. It was part tutorial, it was part pep rally. He answered the question Republicans have been asking, are you better off now than you were four years ago. He gave a more coherent answer than we've heard from the Obama campaign, and then he laid out the case against Mitt Romney.

SAWYER: And if I'm not wrong, as I (Inaudible) Mrs. Obama watch him defend her husband, there were tears standing in her eyes a couple of times.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What did you hear, George Will?

GEORGE WILL: Well, convention speakers are not under oath. That's part of the fun of convention rhetoric.

(...)

MATTHEW DOWD: I was actually very impressed by the tone he took, which was slightly serious, slightly funny, aw shucks. I think it was like actually perfect tone, and as Donna mentioned along the way, I think he just helped seriously close the enthusiasm gap that the President came in here with.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014