Did you ever notice how ex-presidents seem to become more “presidential” after they’re president?
Not that Bill Clinton didn’t exhibit leadership qualities in his two terms, but nowadays he seems even more comfortable in the role of elder statesman and political sage.
A case in point was his appearance Thursday night on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in which he talked about the hard work that went into composing his recent speech in support of President Obama at the Democratic National Convention, the problems facing Mitt Romney’s campaign, and Clinton’s Global Initiative project.
“Give any good speeches lately?” Jon Stewart asked Clinton after the 42nd President of the United States came on-stage. “How did that feel at the convention?” asked Stewart, who’s obviously an unabashed fan of Clinton’s. “Could you tell that you were crushin’ it as you were doin’ it? Did you feel that?”
Clinton answered humbly, “Yes and no. And what I mean by that is, I worked so hard on that for weeks and weeks and weeks … I was determined to get the facts right and simplify the argument without being simplistic. I didn’t want to talk down to people. I wanted to explain what I thought was going on. … Rhetoric falls on deaf ears.”
On the topic of the Romney campaign, Clinton thinks the GOP nominee made too many commitments, back in the primaries, to various hard-right factions within the Republican party. “Part of the problem that he has is that he made all these commitments in the primary campaign, and they just kept pushing everybody to the right,” Clinton said.
The former president also talked about the “nuts and bolts” of building a national economy, and cautioned that economy-building has little to do with ideology, and more to do with “practical, hard work.”
Then the conversation turned to Clinton’s eight-year-old Global Initiative, and we found that part of the discussion fascinating.
You can watch the whole Clinton appearance on “The Daily Show,” above.