This is not the first rodeo for the Clintons. Considering that Bill Clinton won the Democratic nomination in 1992 and went on to run for reelection in 1996, he has attended more than his fair share of Democratic National Conventions. Even as recently as 2012 he was there, on Barack Obama's behalf, giving the nomination speech. He nailed home a message that remains essential to Hillary's campaign, four years later: "We think, 'We’re all in this together'" is a better philosophy than “you’re on your own,” he told the roaring crowd. So this time, is Bill Clinton speaking at the DNC convention?
The full roster of speakers has yet to be leased, but several media reports hint that Bill will be speaking at some point during the convention. CNN reported that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was given the top spot of the opening night. In the same piece, the other big name Democrats that are thought to be getting speaking slots were mentioned.
They included Clinton's primary opponent Bernie Sanders, Pres. Barack Obama, Vice Pres. Joe Biden, the VP pick (which could still be Warren), and Clinton, the former president and the candidate's husband. Some sources told CNN, though, that Bill might get the short straw, implying he wouldn't speak if there weren't enough time slots.
That conflicts with what New York Magazine reported. Louisa Thomas was focused on Clinton's role in the campaign, trying to utilize his popularity and political acumen while keeping it from overshadowing Hillary. Also the campaign has attempted to shift leftward from some of his administration's policies like NAFTA and welfare reform given how they have played out in the years and became primary issues in Hillary's race against Bernie Sanders.
In the article, Thomas wrote that "sources close to the campaign say Bill Clinton will have a high-profile speaking slot." She referenced his stand-up job for Obama at the DNC in 2012, but acknowledged this go around will be harder given the realities of the campaign. That's due to the same problems Hillary's campaign has had in using him this far, "given the need to call attention to some parts of his legacy while avoiding others, to bring the star power without overshadowing his wife."
There will be no way to know with utter certainty until the schedule and roster are released. That could be influenced by Hillary's pick of vice president. If she were to choose someone geographically or demographically unique, it could influence her decision. And that in turn would affect the roster of speakers. If she were to choose Warren, for example, it would open up a spot.
Stay tuned for the release of the full roster and schedule to know for sure.