Former President Bill Clinton officially nominated President Obama for a second term at the Democratic National Convention last night, making an impassioned plea for the president while under the spotlight himself. Joining John Berman on “Early Start” this morning is the man who helped write Clinton’s own 1996 re-nomination speech, Don Baer.
Baer, the former communications director and chief speechwriter for the Clinton Administration, and current CEO of the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, weighs in on the Clinton speech and what Obama needs to say tonight.
“It was a full speech, and a terrific one,” he says. “He provided a storyline for what the last four years have been about to really frame it and help explain it to the American people.” Baer says he did something else that was very important. “There’s a positive forward motion to that story,” he says, “and that’s what the American people need to hear.”
Baer believes Obama should build on the platform Clinton has provided for him. “Now President Obama needs to do,” he says, “exactly what President Clinton did in 1996.” Baer says that speech was “like a second State of the Union address. He’s talking about the agenda, what he’s going to do in the second term.” Baer thinks Obama should follow that lead.
“There’s been a forward momentum, but now we need to know how we’re going to finish the job,” Baer says. “I think that’s president Obama’s part tonight.”