Clinton Passes Political 'Baton'
Listen for NPR special Monday convention analysis.
Los Angeles, Aug. 15 -- President Clinton joined Al Gore on the campaign trail today and praised the vice president for playing a key role in the achievements of his two-term administration.
"Every good thing that has happened that came out of our administration in the last eight years, Al Gore was at the heart of it," Clinton said. He added that if voters want continued prosperity that much of that nation has enjoyed in recent years, then Al Gore should be their choice for president in November.
"The things that have happened in the last eight years, the good things, are nothing compared with the things that can happen in the next eight years," he said. "But we've got to make the right choice."
'Passing of the Torch'
Clinton's statements followed and emotional farewell address on Monday night to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Today, he then met Gore in Monroe, Mich., for a rally attended by thousands in the blue-collar city outside of Detroit.
Gore promised he would work to sustain the country's robust economy and seek to share the benefits with those have been left behind. "Because of all we have accomplished we have a chance that is rare in our history, to see to it that prosperity enriches not just the few, but all working families," Gore said. "The question is whether we turn back to the failed ways of the old guard or move forward with purpose and pride."
The meeting was billed as a symbolic passing of the torch to the vice president, who is expected to receive the Democratic Party's nomination on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Gore will then arrive at the downtown Staples Center on the following day to deliver his acceptance speech at the convention's closing. Clinton returned to Washington, D.C., for his final five months in office.
Meanwhile, Democrats looked forward to a second night of speeches from the likes of former New Jersey Senator, Bill Bradley, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, and Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Clinton Shares Success with Delegates
On Monday, Democrats opened their national convention in a fighting mood and quickly swung back at Republican charges that the country has lacked leadership in the past eight years with their party in charge of the White House.
Boasting of a strong economy, the lowest unemployment in 30 years, and other signs of unprecedented prosperity, Democrats credited their party for for the good times.
Capping off the opening day of their four-day convention in Los Angeles, President Clinton stepped into the spotlight last night to echo those sentiments and told delegates that America was a richer, stronger and more peaceful country than it was before he was elected
Listen as NPR's Mara Liasson reports for Morning Edition on Clinton's legacy and his hopes that Gore be elected president in November -- or listen to Clinton's 41-minute speech in its entirety.
It Still Takes a Village
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton also added her endorsement to Gore before introducing her husband saying Gore and his vice presidential running mate Joseph Lieberman would make sure that "no child is left behind and we made great progress in the last eight years."
Referring to her 1996 book, It Takes a Village, she said, "It takes all of us -- teachers, workers, business owners, community leaders and people of faith. You know, I still believe it takes a village. And it certainly takes Al Gore and Joe Lieberman."
Hear Hillary Clinton's full speech.
Listen as NPR's Melissa Block report for Morning Edition on the first day of the
Democratic National Convention and the speeches by Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Protests Turn Violent
LAPD prepares for protesters outside of the Staples Center.
Photo by Josh Barlow/
While Clinton spoke, police clashed with thousands of protesters gathered for a concert just outside the convention center. Demonstrators pelted police with pieces of concrete and other debris. Officers responded with bean bags and pepper spray to push back the protesters when they refused to leave the area.
The clash followed several demonstrations earlier in the day held as Democrats began their convention. Some marched through the streets dressed in pig costumes to protest the influence of corporations in American politics as they called for reforming the nation's campaign finance laws. Listen as Morning Edition host Renee Montagne speaks with NPR's Aaron Schachter about the protests.
Delegates & Dollars
Hours before Clinton's speech and the first night's festivities, a few hundred delegates were on the convention floor taking care of business.
Listen to a Morning Edition report from NPR's Ina Jaffe who spent some time talking with delegates about the convention and the money behind it.
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