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How Did Obama Do?

It was a make-or-break moment for the president as he closed out the DNC. Daily Beast contributors weigh in on the big speech and more.

Bill’s Brilliant Turn

The ex-president charmed the crowd in Charlotte by directly hitting the GOP’s talking points one by one. The Daily Beast rounds up the best parts from his speech.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

No one hypnotizes a crowd like the 42nd president. Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention to thunderous applause and multiple standing ovations. Discarding the prompters, in typical Clintonian fashion, the former president made a spectacular case for Barack Obama’s re-election to fervent followers at the Convention.

Bill Brings It

The former president fused folksiness and wonkiness in boosting his successor. Howard Kurtz on how he made the case that Obama struggles to make for himself.
Robyn Beck / Getty Images

Bill Clinton, riding to the rescue of his Democratic successor, delivered an entertaining tour de force Wednesday night, saying the Republicans had created a “total mess” that Barack Obama is still cleaning up.“If you want a you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket,” Clinton said.

The Star Limbaugh Made

He called her a slut. Sandra Fluke showed him—taking the stage in Charlotte and electrifying the crowd with her sharp jabs at the GOP. Michelle Cottle on the Democrats’ new standout.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

One of the surprise stars of Wednesday night was brought to us by none other than Rush Limbaugh.Sandra Fluke, the recent Georgetown Law School grad and liberal activist, rocketed to fame this year when her advocacy on behalf of requiring insurers to cover birth control prompted Limbaugh to call her a slut.

Best of Beast TV at the DNC

Beast TV went live at the Democratic National Convention—and a few stars, political and otherwise, stopped by. From Darrell Hammond’s Bill Clinton impression to Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Jerusalem, watch the best moments.

Kucinich ‘Disappointed’ by Obama’s Jobs Record The former Ohio congressman, long known as an independent voice within the Democratic Party, told Beast TV that he wishes the president had done more to create jobs in America.

They’re Protesting the Dems?

Sure, the anti-abortion protesters were expected in Charlotte. But the immigration advocates, and the Occupy activists? Don’t they feel any kinship to the Democrats? Michelle Cottle on why more are protesting this convention.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

You can’t swing a dead cat here in Charlotte without whacking an anti-abortion protester brandishing giant posters of bloody, dismembered fetuses. What can you do? It’s the Democratic convention. The party is proudly pro-abortion rights.

Rahm Emanuel Rips Republicans

Emanuel tells Howard Kurtz a shaken GOP will cooperate with Obama if he wins a second term.
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Rahm Emanuel has a simple explanation for why President Obama hasn’t accomplished more in office.It’s “the radicalization of the Republican Party,” the Chicago mayor says in a video interview here in Charlotte.“They have become more ideological and more rigid.

Gay and Proudly Anti-Obama

One party has a platform that endorses same-sex marriage while the other’s platform wants to go back to the days of “don’t ask, don’t tell”—so why are some gay activists backing Republicans? Lloyd Grove talks with GOProud about endorsing based on politics, not emotions.
twitter@JimmyLaSalvia

Cognitive dissonance? What cognitive dissonance? “What I’m concerned about is the same issue that concerns every other American—and that’s ‘How am I gonna survive next week?’—because we’re all living under economic uncertainty,” says gay Republican activist Jimmy LaSalvia, explaining why he prefers the party that wants to curtail his rights over the party that explicitly supports same-sex marriage.

Will Chicago Hurt Obama?

The president’s hometown suffers from joblessness, a soaring murder rate, and labor union unrest. James Warren examines how these local woes could damage Obama in November.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a pit bull in pinstripes, hit the Democratic National Convention stage Tuesday, he briefly left behind hometown problems that might just complicate the reelection of his former boss.President Obama can’t avoid at least one of those problems—the economy—since it’s a national problem as well.

You Aced It, Michelle

Dems pulled off two triumphs on the first night of the DNC. First, they deftly mirrored the diversity of America. And then the first lady knocked her speech out of the park.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

In the words of that old rocker Rod Stewart: “Every picture tells a story, don’t it?”On the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, the TV cameras spent almost as much time focused on the faces of the conventioneers as they did on the faces of those delivering keynote speeches.

The Audacity of Rain

The president wanted to wow the country with a speech in a big stadium. Howard Kurtz on why that audacious plan has now been canceled.
Eric Thayer, AFP / Getty Images

President Obama may have dodged a metaphorical mess.It has rained relentlessly here in Charlotte since the Democratic convention began. Most delegates and journalists were utterly soaked on the way to the area Tuesday night, stripped of their umbrellas because they are deemed a dire security threat.

Mobama’s Magnum Opus

Ann who? Sweet as a flower, in a bright silky frock, the First Lady stole the show in Charlotte. Patricia J. Williams on Michelle Obama’s incredible speech.
Robyn Beck, AFP / Getty Images

My television tuned to PBS on one side and my computer streaming live from Charlotte, N.C., on the other, I settled in for the launch of the Democratic National Convention. If the tinny speakers didn’t reproduce the ecstatic high of being there, it provided an interesting insight into the power of media filters.

Michelle’s Speech Wasn’t That Great

While the first lady humanized Obama and reminded people why they liked him, it wasn’t exactly a home run, writes Mark McKinnon. He critiques the Democratic convention’s first night.
AP Photo ; Getty Images

The Democratic Convention wrapped up its first night with a couple of speeches that blew the roof off the joint.In terms of sheer oratorical skills, Julián Castro and Michelle Obama are as good as anyone in politics today. While much of the country probably asked, "Julián who?" and "Why him?" when they heard he was to deliver the keynote speech, they are wondering no more.

‘She Keeps Him Real’

What a difference three and a half years can make. After a rocky start on the national scene, Michelle Obama was the undisputed star in Charlotte on Tuesday night. Attendees tell Allison Samuels just how big an asset she is to the president.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Seventy-three-year-old Denise Potter had hip-replacement surgery in May, but she boarded her Memphis church’s bus Sunday and rode 600 miles to Charlotte, N.C., all the same, just to be in the same room as Michelle Obama.Potter says she supports President Obama in part because she really loves his wife, and she knew the first lady would deliver a message well worth hearing in her opening-night speech at the Democratic National Convention.

5 Things to Watch at the DNC on Wednesday

From the young woman who took on Rush Limbaugh to Bubba himself, here’s what’s worth tuning in for on the second day of the Democratic National Convention.
AP Photo (4) ; AFP / Getty Images

1. Richard Trumka President of the AFL-CIO, labor leader Richard Trumka will try to rally America’s hammer wielders and hard hats behind President Obama on Wednesday evening. The mustachioed Trumka has taken a decisive line against Republican candidate Mitt Romney, saying in July that the Bain Capital founder “doesn’t care about hard work and responsibility.

Cecile Richards Takes Center Stage

After protesting in Tampa, Cecile Richards will take the stage in Charlotte. Allison Yarrow talks to the head of Planned Parenthood.
Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Sen. Sherrod Brown knows which side his omelet is hot-sauced on.After a fundraiser in the parking lot of the Cleveland restaurant Moxie, Brown, Ohio’s senior senator, pulled Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards aside to thank her for headlining—and to seek her blessing.

What Do You Think?

Take our DNC poll: DNC2012

'I'm Hopeful Because of You'

'I never said this journey would be easy,' the president told Americans Thursday, 'and I won't promise that now.' But the hope that drove him into office in 2008 remains, he said; he still believes in Americans' ability to 'pull each other up' and travel the hard road to economic recovery together.

  1. Meghan McCain Slams Charlie Crist Play

    Meghan McCain Slams Charlie Crist

  2. Clinton Nominates Obama Play

    Clinton Nominates Obama

  3. Jimmy Fallon or Julian Castro? Play

    Jimmy Fallon or Julian Castro?

Watch This

Beast TV at the DNC!

Best of Beast TV at the DNC

Best of Beast TV at the DNC

From Darrell Hammond’s Clinton impression to Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Jerusalem, see the best moments.

The Other Guys

All About the RNC

The Block-and-Blame Game

The Block-and-Blame Game

The RNC says it’s Obama’s fault the gun bill didn’t pass. By John Avlon.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

J.C. Watts Drops Bombs

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Poll: Yes, We’re Better Off

THE REAL EASTWOOD

Leave Clint Alone!

MISSED CHANCE

Ann’s Big Boo Boo