“No president — not me or any of my predecessors — no one could have fully repaired all the damage in just four years,” Clinton said. Obama, he added, “has laid the foundations for a new modern successful economy, a shared prosperity, and if you will renew the president’s contract, you will feel it.”
Clinton took the stage just after 10:30 p.m. to a chorus of cheers and applause, with delegates waving signs that said “Middle Class First” while his 1992 campaign theme song, “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow),” blared on the public address system.
After Clinton concluded, almost 50 minutes later, Obama walked on stage to acknowledge the work done on behalf of his reelection. The two men shook hands, embraced, smiled and waved to the audience and then walked off together. At that point, the roll call of the states began to formalize Obama’s nomination.
Clinton’s speech was the rhetorical and emotional highlight of the second day of the convention, which also featured a primetime address by Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Senate candidate in Massachusetts.
After Tuesday’s strong opening night program, Wednesday’s session ran into early problems, as the Democrats were forced to clean up two controversies in the platform they adopted on Tuesday. By voice vote, delegates approved changes to declare Jerusalem as the preferred capital of Israel and to reinsert a reference to God, which had been omitted in the original text.
With the change on Israel policy, Democrats reversed an omission that drew sharp criticism from some Jewish organizations and from Republicans who saw it as evidence of Obama distancing the United States from a critical ally. The convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, called for a vote three times before ruling that the measure to add Jerusalem had passed, although some delegates booed from the convention floor.
Clinton spoke on the day Obama arrived in this convention city from Washington and prepared to deliver his Thursday night acceptance speech. But threats of severe weather forced a sudden change in plans for the final night of the three-day event.
Convention organizers announced that Obama would give his acceptance speech indoors at Time Warner Cable Arena, ditching plans to stage the event before a crowd of 74,000 people outdoors at Bank of America Stadium.
Clinton said the most important question voters should ask is what kind of country they want in the future. “If you want a winner-take-all, you’re-on-your-own, you should support the Republican ticket,” he said. “If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility — a we’re-all-in-this-together society — you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”