My Thoughts on Bill Clinton’s DNC 2012 speech


I liked Bill Clinton’s speech last night.  He did a good job of using his charisma to package the use of actual numbers and statistics in his speech.  It seems to me that politicians nowadays prefer to rely more and more on clever turns of phrase, rather than actual facts and figures to get their points across.  Clinton certainly had some one-liners, but he also gave some pretty involved  explanations of things.  I especially liked his observation that  “Today, interest rates are low, lower than the rate of inflation. People are practically paying us to borrow money”.

I am still not a fan of saying the stimulus “created or saved” jobs, which he did at least once.  That sounds like weasel words, and even though I assume the “saved” idea is based on models and projections of the economy without the stimulus,  those are still just models, and it feels shady to take credit for preventing something you assume would have happened.  They should stick with just “created”.

All in all, though, a very good speech.


  1. Hard to say you created jobs with the stimulus when all that was done was keep people in the jobs they already had for two years. So saved is right. The problem was that it was too small and after the two years were up many of the jobs that were saved were lost, so you can compare what happened when there was a stimulus and the aftermath.

  2. Another thought, the stimulus saved government jobs: teachers, police, firefighters, civil service. It didin’t affect the private sector except that the people whose jobs were saved continued to buy commodities and services which the private sector provides. For those two years they were able to sell the surplus the economic downturn built up and by the time the stimulus expired they could resume manufacturing and added new private sector jobs. Unfortunately for the afore mentioned government workers, most at the state level, they are still facing job losses even with an uptick in the economy because of the tax cut craze.

  3. You are correct on both points; however, it just sounds awkward as a phrase. And this is what Clinton excelled at in most of the speech and indeed his whole career: taking awkward and dull statistical truths and explaining them in memorable ways that everyone can understand.

    To my ear, “create-or-save” is a strange way of saying it. I said I liked “create”, but in truth I I think it would be better to say simply “the stimulus employed [x] many people.” That covers both the concept of “creating” and “saving” jobs under the umbrella of one word.

    But yeah; it’s not that “create or save” is wrong, it just doesn’t sound good.

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