WASHINGTON: Former US president Bill Clinton, whose popularity now is said to be one of the highest so far according to the latest Gallup Poll, would address the Democratic Party National Convention in early September.
Clinton will deliver the nominating speech on Wednesday, September 5 in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced on Monday, according to which Elizabeth Warren will also speak just before the former president.
Clinton's nominating speech will not only set the stage for the acceptance speeches from Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama but also lay out the critical choice in this election between continuing to move forward toward a strong economy or going back to the same policies that lead to the economic crisis, the DNCC said.
"Clinton oversaw the longest economic expansion in US history, pursuing many of the same policies that President Obama is proposing and implementing today. That economic progress was squandered in the following decade by a set of decisions that exploded our deficit, crashed our economy, and hurt the middle class," said 2012 Democratic Convention Chair, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
"So, there is no one better to lay out the choice in this election between moving forward with President Obama or falling backward with Mitt Romney, who supports the same failed policies that led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," he said.
The White House defended the decision to invite Clinton to address the convention.
"President Obama has spoken frequently, publicly, about President Clinton's success in dealing with some of the economic challenges that this country faced when President Clinton was here in the White House, and President Clinton's record speaks for itself," White House Deputy Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
"It certainly means that President Clinton is a very effective communicator in terms of talking about the challenges that we face and in talking about the kind of vision that he and President Obama share in addressing and confronting these challenges," he said.
Ultimately Clinton will reinforce the message that Obama himself will be laying out a day or two later, he said, adding which is his belief that if they are going to strengthen the economy over the long term, one need to do it by strengthening the middle class, by investing in the middle class, and growing the economy from the middle out.
"This stands in stark contrast to the approach that's advocated by Governor Romney and congressional Republicans who believe that we should just shower the wealthy with tax cuts; that if we invest in those at the top of the income scale, that all the benefits will trickle down on everybody else and we’ll all benefit," Earnest alleged.
"The opportunity that President Clinton will have to deliver that message in the convention isn't just appropriate, it's something that will be very beneficial to the President (Obama)," he added.