- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — Former President Clinton took to the stage of the Democratic convention Tuesday seeking to soften his wife Hillary Clinton’s hard edges and testify to her life of public service, saying she’s the candidate who can deliver change.

From her time nabbing segregated schools in the south to their emotional ups and downs — including the birth of their daughter Chelsea, and crying together earlier Tuesday over the death of a friend — Mr. Clinton said he and his wife are best friends.

And the former president tried to reintroduce his wife after a quarter-century in the public eye, saying all that experience doesn’t make the newly minted Democratic presidential nominee an insider, but rather a powerhouse politician who gets things done.

“She’s the best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life,” he said. “She’s been around a long time, she sure has, and she’s sure been worth every single year she’s put into making people’s lives better.”

Emmy winning actor Vincent DePaul Zannino cheered and shouted out “Yes!” as Mr. Clinton extolled his wife’s character.

“I can see why our first lady now will be an amazing president. She is remarkable,” said Mr. DePaul Zannino, who was brimming with excitement about Mr. Clinton’s speech.

“I am so very proud to be a Democrat now in 2016. Hillary believes in acceptance, diversity and inclusion — that’s what Hillary wants,” he said.

Mr. Clinton also accused Republicans of lying about Mrs. Clinton’s record in office in last week’s GOP convention, where the former State Department secretary’s management of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack was a frequent target. Mr. Clinton said it was impossible to square the GOP’s vision with what he saw.

“One is real, the other is made up,” he said. “Good for you, because earlier today you nominated the real one.”

He called Mrs. Clinton an “outsider” and compared her to former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, a senator, attorney general and brother of the former president, who made his own White House bid in 1968.

Brushing aside some of the trickier parts of her record in the Senate, including her support for most of the big trade deals — he said she “voted for and against” them — Mr. Clinton ticked off the liberal policies she did back during her time in office as State Department secretary.

He said she fought against global warming, advocated for gay rights and backed President Obama’s decision to go after Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Republicans mocked Mr. Clinton ahead of his speech, saying he’s lost the party he built as a moderate force in politics in the 1990s. In the 15 years since he left office Democrats have moved substantially to the left on social issues such as gay rights, on free trade, and on budget-cutting and reforming government.

Mrs. Clinton has changed her own position on many of those same issues in her long time in service.

• S.A. Miller contributed to this report.

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