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Valley Public Radio Staff
It's All Politics
Wed September 5, 2012
The Democrats' Most Interesting Man: Bill Clinton In A Word Or Five
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:13 pm
Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?
The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.
Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.
Party members gathered in this welcoming, if soggy, city are in a state of high anticipation, expecting their "most interesting man" to serve up a stemwinder of convention proportions.
(But not of the 1988 variety, when his turn at the convention podium became interminable; he elicited the loudest applause when he uttered the words, "in closing.")
To get a sense of how convention-goers view the former president, whose favorability Gallup poll number measures at 66 percent nationally — the same as his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — we asked Democrats here to give us their short-and-sweet answer to: "If we say Bill Clinton, you say?"
And what we've been hearing on the streets of Charlotte more than echoes Gallup's findings. Clinton, not surprisingly, remains extraordinarily popular among members of his party.
Turns out, photographer Becky Lettenberger and I independently and not intentionally gathered responses from far more women than men. But here's what we found:
-- Veleria Levy, "40 plus", delegate from North Carolina: "Game changer"
-- Priscilla Chavez, 64, delegate from New Mexico, retired state employee: "Great president"
-- Carla Arellanes, 52, delegate from New Mexico, retired human resource administrator: "handsome"
-- Caroline Sink, 54, lawyer from Charlotte: "Good president, controversial"
-- Liz McKeithen, 74, from Charlotte: "Oh my gracious! We'll take him again!"
-- Mike Evans, 34, delegate from Missouri, high school teacher: "Leadership and money; growing up in the '90s, times were good"
-- Matt Wilborn, 68, supporter from Atlanta, fast-food-restaurant owner: "Barack Obama"
-- Joy Williams, 65, delegate from Brandon, Miss., retired: "Persona — energy, experience, personality"
-- Ernest Brooks, 70, insurance associate, Jackson, Tenn.: "Fantastic president of yesterday"
-- State Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, 66, Baton Rouge, La.: "A good soul president"
-- Brandon Anderson, 25, waiter from Charlotte: "Hillary Clinton"