This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Philadelphia • Mixing folksy anecdotes about how they met and fell in love, with a detailed political résumé, former President Bill Clinton tried to reintroduce Hillary Clinton to the world Tuesday while rejecting what he called the "cartoon" that Republicans created to tear her down.
Bill Clinton set aside the detailed policy speeches at this Democratic National Convention to play the traditional role of the political spouse, to humanize the candidate, telling stories that no one else can.
He began: "In the spring of 1971, I met a girl."
By the end of his 40-minute speech, he had walked the crowd through her law-school campaigns to register Mexican American voters in Texas, her fight against school discrimination in the South, her work on education and health care during his time as Arkansas governor and American president, and her own political career as a senator of New York and as secretary of state.
Each served to show Hillary Clinton as a person of action, writing reports that helped improve the lives of schoolchildren, the disabled, gay Americans and more.
"She's the best darn change-maker I've met in my entire life," he said.
Bill Clinton is expected to take his message on the road, including Utah, where he'll promote his wife's campaign during a planned visit on Aug. 11.
It could be just a fundraiser, but it may include a political rally.
"I get the sense right now [he'll do] both, but nothing is locked in," said Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson, a Clinton delegate attending the convention.
Wilson says there's been a push for the Clinton campaign to pay attention to Utah as part of its broad efforts to expand the list of tossup states.
Utah hasn't handed its electoral votes to a Democrat in more than 50 years, but a Tribune-Hinckley Institute poll in June showed Hillary Clinton tied with Donald Trump, each carrying 35 percent of likely voters in the state. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson nabbed 13 percent in the poll. Some political handicappers moved Utah's status from solid Republican to leaning Republican, though the state is not considered a swing.
The Clinton campaign would not confirm the Bill Clinton trip.
In 1992, Utah gave Bill Clinton his worst defeat third place behind President George H.W. Bush and third-party candidate Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire. He didn't boost his popularity four years later when he designated the nearly 2 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with virtually no consultation with state leaders.
The 42nd president made a pitch to immigrants desirous of citizenship, Muslims and young black Americans worried about police shootings, saying Hillary Clinton would make progress on issues that mattered to him.
That was the closest he got to a criticism of Republican candidate Donald Trump.
He didn't say Trump's name once.
He did say: "Hillary will make us stronger together, you know it, because she spent a lifetime doing it."