After Bill Clinton galvanized a country full of undecided voters and wooed the already-decided ones on night two of the Democratic National Convention last week, a quip circulated Twitter that President Barack Obama should appoint the former president as “Secretary of Explaining Stuff.” (The joke had also been re-tweeted with an expletive in place of “stuff.”)
Clinton’s speech indeed managed to do what politicians on the left side of the aisle had struggled to do in the past few years — succinctly and clearly take down the Republican platform, refute some misconceptions and do so in a way that was both entertaining and engaging even to viewers without much of an appetite for politics.
If you missed Bill Clinton, this moment was a moment where for a shining forty-odd minutes, it was the glory days of the mid-90s again. And he did it without resorting to half-truths or misrepresentations, just the folksy Clinton style of speaking he’s known for the world over.
Clinton was on fire, and he ignited a partially-apathetic base in his speech — and as the joke pinged around the microblogosphere, somewhere along the line, President Obama picked it up. And began using it.
Bill Clinton should be the Secretary of Explaining Things.
— Ben Greenman (@bengreenman) September 6, 2012
According to BuzzFeed, Obama relayed the joke to audiences in Iowa, New Hampshire and in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he said:
“After he spoke, somebody sent out a tweet — they said, you should appoint him secretary of explaining stuff. (Laughter and applause.) I like that — secretary of explaining stuff. Although, I have to admit, it didn’t really say “stuff.” I cleaned that up a little bit. (Laughter.)”
Are you hoping that even if not appointed “Secretary Of Explaining Stuff” by President Obama, that Bill Clinton will be more present on the political scene in coming years?