September 6th, 2012
02:32 PM ET

Comments: 'Love him or hate him,' but Clinton fires up Democrats at convention

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here are some comments we noticed Thursday:

As former President Bill Clinton took to the stage at the Democratic National Convention, readers took to their cameras and keyboards to let us know what they thought about his speech Wednesday night and how the convention is going so far.

Five things we learned from Day Two of the DNC

Clinton has been a controversial figure not only for his politics but for his personal life and resulting impeachment. David P. Kronmiller of Burbank, California, alluded to this past, asking "does he help or hurt Democrats?" and referring to "mixed messages" even as he gave the former president good marks for his words.

"He's an excellent storyteller," Kronmiller said. "He's very good at telling the story of an event - in this case, Barack Obama's successes."

And then there's Mark Ivy, a CNN iReporter who says he leans toward Mitt Romney but was keeping an eye on "classic Bill Clinton" on Wednesday night. The Farmersburg, Indiana, resident said that although many people "love (Clinton) or hate him," he also felt that "no one knows how to reach out and touch the common folk better than the man from Hope," or exhibits better skills to "play to the base of the Democratic Party."

"Bill Clinton was vintage Bill Clinton tonight as he formally nominated President Barack Obama to carry the torch for yet another four years for the Democratic National Party. That included the fact that as customary, Bill was not short-winded... ."

Some of the reaction came directly from Charlotte, North Carolina, site of the DNC events. The following two iReporters won a CNN contest to attend the DNC, just as others had gone to the Republican National Convention.

Omekongo Dibinga of Washington noted in his video commentary that he felt the speech was effective despite some controversy surrounding the convention's second day.

"While the speech was a little long, he definitely got the point across," Dibinga said.

"Overall there was a great deal of energy around Day 2 of the DNC. President Clinton made a strong case for why we are better off than four years ago as well. Now it's time for President Obama to bring it home!"

Melissa Fazli of Yorba Linda, California, said she plans to vote for Obama and was excited to see the president in person. She also said she saw Clinton "electrify at the DNC" and added that "Bill Clinton is right. Two plus two does equal four."

"He did a terrific job by pointing out that it wasn't just the Democrats that put us in so much debt," she said. "Simple arithmetic."

While Clinton's speech provoked favorable responses from many commenters, plenty of readers felt uncomfortable about the former president speaking.

"What I learned from Day 2.
1) Republicans still hate Bill Clinton.
2) Bill Clinton is still relevant.
3) When Bill Clinton speaks America listens.
4) Bill Clinton drives Republicans crazy.
5) Bill Clinton knows he drives Republicans Bat Sh** crazy.
6) President Obama will seal the deal on Thursday.
7) Republicans are on now on suicide watch.
Obama 2012
Romney 1040"

middleright: "Why don't you ask Bill to show his tax returns, he makes a fortune speaking overseas. I bet most of that money never makes it back to the country you love. And ask Monica Lewinsky how her life is going since Bill and Hill destroyed with the likes of CNN and the rest, and ask him why he didn't pull the trigger on (Osama) bin laden when he ha(d) the chance, would of saved a lot of lives. What a great man. He's so great his wife is never home."

Many iReporters and commenters mentioned the controversy surrounding the inclusion in the Democratic platform of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Some called the DNC vote a "flip-flop."

Democrats update platform with Jerusalem, God reference

On iReport, a video from Ivy described the "rough second day start" to the DNC.

"After closing on such a high note last night, it seems the party leadership stepped in it today over the issues of God and Jerusalem. Even the votes to let God back in to the convention and to reaffirm Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has turned to controversy. It seemed apparent listening to the vote, that the majority wanted God shut out of the party. Not good for wooing independents, moderates or conservative Democrats sitting back in the heartland."

Dibinga also referred to the controversy in his video, saying the incident was discouraging but that Clinton brought the convention back on track.

"The main problem that I had with that was not so much the language, because that's what President Obama believed. It was the way in which they did it. It broke the spirit of unity that I could see from inside the convention. Of course there were people outside who were protesting and expressing their opinions, and nobody's bothering them, but inside there's been a real spirit of togetherness. President Clinton really brought that togetherness. He's the first major politician I've seen who came out and said we're better off than we were four years ago."

And then there were some who said they thought religion should not influence policy.

HectorLG: "This change was unneeded. It disregards all the people, like me, (who) are agnostic. Which God, anyhow? Completely backwards, Mr. President. I'm forced to vote for the best of the two evils, instead of the best of the candidates. Politics, that's all. Don't forget the Jewish vote, and their dollars in contributions."

Brian Smith: "Should have stuck to their guns. Israel does not own the USA. They can't tell us what to do, but wait, yes they can! What else do our Israeli overlords desire?  Oh right, they want us to attack Iran, unprovoked, and wipe them off the map. Gotcha."

Overall, readers oscillated between frustration with political procedures and interests involved, and concerns about the Democratic Party's attitude toward Judaism and religion in general.

Varun Verma: "We saw at DNC today how much democrats believe in democratic procedures. The voice vote clearly sounded like equal strength on both sides. It seems like they had already decided what the outcome they wanted for the voice vote. So they were simply insulting the delegates by taking their 'voice vote.' It not only exposed a divided house but also pandering to AIPAC (a pro-Israel lobbing group) as well as to polls showing God is important to voters. No principled leadership, only pandering and flip-flopping based on the polls."

Tex71: "Omitting Jerusalem from the platform might seem like a blunder to a very small group of ultra-religious folks who think the USA should keep messing with Middle Eastern politics for some vague apocalyptic reason. Personally, I am far more concerned by the omission from the GOP platform of any specific plan for job growth (throwing more money at the wealthy in hopes they will throw us a bone doesn't count) or really any other topic of substance, having no other clear goal besides making sure President Obama doesn't get re-elected – and turning back the clock 300 years on women's rights, and reducing the middle class to wage-slavery/serfdom. OK, I guess they do have somewhat of an agenda."

What's your take on the DNC so far? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Bill Clinton • Comments • Democratic Party • Israel • Politics • Religion
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Lorraine Blankenstein

    Pres. Clinton tries to make a case for Barack Obama when he tells us that President Obama has a plan to "Rebuild America from the ground up". And how long is it until it's proposed that the new name for our country is to be ObamAmerica?
    I don't think it's a great idea handing over our countries keys to a man "So Full of Beer".

    The very idèa of an ObamAmerica makes it an ObamaNation!

    September 18, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
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