Joan Walsh: Clinton shared the candidate's measured, investigative approach to the financial crisis in September: calling his advisors, calling Clintons' advisors, calling both Clintons and others. What Obama told everyone, Clinton said, was, "'Tell me what's right. Don't tell me what's popular, tell me what's right, and I'll figure out how to sell it.' That's what a president does. He will be a very fine decision maker, working for the American people."
Obama responded to Clinton in kind: "In case all of you forgot: This is what it's like to have a great president. It is such an honor and a privilege to be joined by him here tonight." He peppered his standard stump speech with examples of the glory of the Clinton years. It was a little stiff at first, but Clinton almost fell off his chair laughing at Obama's joke about being a "redistributionist" for sharing his peanut butter sandwich with a childhood friend, and after that he was a more expressive, appreciative audience, laughing and clapping on cue. By the end they were hanging on one another, whispering into each other's ears and cracking one another up as they walked offstage waving to the crowd.
Maybe I'm seeing what I want to see, but I hope they enjoyed one another tonight. It's certainly not what Clinton expected, but Obama could be his chance at finally securing his legacy. He wanted it to be his wife, but maybe it will be the first black president who will complete the job Clinton started of expanding opportunity, creating jobs, making work pay and building ladders of upward mobility between classes. Clinton deserves it, Obama deserves it, and most important, the country deserves it. After Clinton and Obama left the stage, MSNBC moved to a "Hardball" rerun, and Tom DeLay was about to speak again. I quickly clicked away, reassured of DeLay's irrelevance.
Finally it was time to watch Obama on "The Daily Show." My favorite part was when Jon Stewart asked him if he was worried that, being part white, the Bradley effect (the perhaps apocryphal tendency for some white voters to say they support a black candidate but then not vote for him) could afflict him, as a (half) white voter. "That's a problem," Obama dead-panned. Stewart couldn't believe his ears, and Obama had to repeat it. "That's a problem. I've been going to therapy to make sure that I vote properly on the 4th." Surrender, Tom DeLay and friends. You have no idea what you're up against. Love and warmth and humor trump filth, every time.