Charlotte, N.C. — North Carolina delegates to the Democratic National Convention say that former President Bill Clinton is the right man to remind voters of where they have been in recent years and why President Barack Obama should continue to lead the country.
Clinton, who is credited with turning around a depressed economy when he was first elected in 1992, was to speak Wednesday night after the Democratic Party officially nominates Obama for a second term.
Convention delegates – and other party members – still revere Clinton, and they say his influence will help Obama and sustain the momentum generated by first lady Michelle Obama's Tuesday night convention speech.
"His philosophies and beliefs are consistent with the president's beliefs," 12th District Congressman Mel Watt said.
"He was an incredible president. He had this country moving in the right direction," said state Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg.
In excerpts of Clinton's speech released by the Obama campaign, the former president said the election presents voters with a choice of the type of country they want.
"If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket," he said. "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."
Clinton said Obama inherited "a deeply damaged country" and was able to "put a floor under the crash" and lay the foundation for a modern, balanced economy.
Delegates said Clinton's remarks will remind voters of the nation's past successes in overcoming economic adversity and state that Obama has put the policies and programs in place to lead another recovery.
"We saw times (under Clinton) that were certainly more prosperous than we have seen," Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton said.
Charles Johnson of Rocky Mount, the oldest member of the North Carolina delegation, has been to political conventions since before Clinton was elected. Even he believes in "the Clinton effect."
"All you have to do is look back and see what he inherited and where he led this country when he was president," Johnson said.
He was referring to Clinton, but convention-goers say the same can be said about Obama as well.