Let Obama finish the job, Clinton urges at party meet
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JEFF ZELENY & MARK LANDLER
Former President Bill Clinton and President Obama hugged on stage Wednesday night after Clinton delivered an impassioned plea on behalf of Obama's re-election, the 42nd president nominating the 44th to a second term with a forceful and spirited argument that Democratic values would restore the promise of the middle class.
The former president delivered a point-by-point rebuttal of the arguments made during the Republican National Convention last week, warning against Republicans taking back the White House and declaring, "We can't let it happen."
He offered an equally detailed affirmative case for the re-election of Obama, saying there was no question the country was in a better position than it was four years ago. "We simply cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle down," Clinton said, repeatedly bringing the crowd at the Democratic convention to its feet.
Clinton drew sharp lines between the choices facing voters in November. He made the case in a deeply personal way, sometimes articulating the argument for Obama more forcefully than the president has done throughout his race with Mitt Romney.
"We believe 'we're all in this together' is a better philosophy than 'you're on your own,' " Clinton said.
The delegates at the Democratic convention conducted the ceremonial roll call vote after Clinton's speech, with Ohio putting Obama over the top and formally elevating him as the party's presidential nominee at 12:06 am.
In the 45-minute speech, Clinton paid tribute to a spirit of bipartisan political co-operation that he lamented was now missing. "Democracy does not have to be a blood sport," Clinton said. "It can be an honorable enterprise."
Clinton offered a comprehensive, even exhaustive, assessment of Obama's first-term priorities, from the auto bailout to the health care law. Brandishing statistics, he laid out a case that each of Obama's initiatives had met the Republican litmus test: leaving Americans better than four years ago.
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