Bill Clinton is set to take center stage Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, when the former president and Democratic icon is expected to champion President Barack Obama's economic vision and make the case to middle-class voters that he can rejuvenate the nation's weak economy if elected to a second term.
Clinton's highly anticipated speech has not, unlike most of the major convention addresses, been submitted to the Obama campaign for the typical vetting and rewriting. But a short preview of the Clinton speech released by the Obama campaign on Wednesday night indicates the 42nd president will use his time contrasting Obama's record and policies with the "winner-take-all society" he argues the Republican ticket would advocate.
Despite reportedly having an icy relationship with Obama following his defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2008, Clinton has become the president's most important -- and popular -- surrogate in 2012. Clinton has already appeared in one Obama campaign television advertisement, where he speaks directly into the camera and argues that Obama's policies are needed to rebuild the robust economy that was in place when the former president left office 12 year ago.
The following is an excerpt of Clinton's address, as prepared for delivery and released by the Obama campaign.
"In Tampa the Republican argument against the President's re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in.
"I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.
"The most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility - a we're-all-in-this-together society - you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden."