The “Secretary of Explaining Stuff” has just been deployed for assignment. Again.
Facing key implementation deadlines for a health-care law that has been received poorly by the public and is the subject of unwavering criticism from Republicans, President Obama is trying to right the ship by turning to the Democratic Party’s best messenger: Bill Clinton.
It could be just what the doctor ordered for the president. (No pun intended.)
Clinton will give a speech about Obamacare in Little Rock, Ark., next week. A White House official says the address will be the first “of a number of high-profile events and speeches by administration officials and allies throughout the fall.” Clinton will headline more events, the official added.
It’s not the first time Obama has turned to the man who has secured his place as the Democratic Party’s best messenger these days. Last fall, Clinton delivered a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention that outshone even Obama’s address. Nearly twice as many Americans who watched the convention said Clinton’s speech was the highlight of the convention as said Obama’s address was the standout,according to one poll. Days later, another poll showed Clinton was more popular than ever.
Clinton’s gift as a speaker is his ability to pitch complex policy arguments in an uncomplicated, straightforward way. His plainspokenness is an asset that Obama, a gifted speaker in his own right, but often seen as more professorial and distant, has lacked during his presidency.
Obama knows this well. Which is why he dispatched Clinton to key swing states after the convention and joked shortly after Clinton’s speech that he should appoint the 42nd president “the Secretary of Explaining Stuff,” a label White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer played up in a tweet Wednesday.