U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks on stage during day two of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.
By David Jackson, USA TODAY
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former president Bill Clinton got good reviews for his speech Wednesday night -- both the prepared and improvised editions.
The prepared text delivered to reporters ran about 3,200 words.
The speech Clinton delivered to the Democratic ran closer to 5,500 words.
We were told Clinton was writing and editing right up to the last minute, and we believe it. The final edition must have wreaked havoc with the Teleprompter operator (and definitely did so for those of us who tried to live blog the president's remarks.)
The Atlantic helpfully provided an annotated text of Clinton's speech, italicizing the parts the president added.
Among the topics:
A riff on the Tea Party: "Just in the last couple of elections, they defeated two distinguished Republican senators because they dared to cooperate with Democrats on issues important to the future of the country, even national security."
Praise for President Obama's appointment of Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State: "I'm grateful for the relationship of respect and partnership she and the president have enjoyed and the signal that sends to the rest of the world, that democracy does not have to be a blood sport, it can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest."
Mocking last week's Republican convention: "They convinced me that they all love their families and their children and were grateful they'd been born in America and all that -- really, I'm not being -- they did. And this is important, they convinced me they were honorable people who believed what they said and they're going to keep every commitment they've made. We just got to make sure the American people know what those commitments are."
Criticizing GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan for hammering Obama over Medicare cuts: "It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did."
We did quibble with one Clinton self-edit. In the prepared text, while discussing the Republicans' new proposed tax cut package, the prepared text had Clinton saying: "We simply can't afford to double down on trickle down."
In real life, Clinton added words to that snappy quote: "We simply can't afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double-down on trickle-down."
At another point, Clinton riffed on American resilience:
People have predicted our demise ever since George Washington was criticized for being a mediocre surveyor with a bad set of wooden false teeth. And so far, every single person that's bet against America has lost money because we always come back. We come through every fire a little stronger and a little better.