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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Hillary Clinton Makes History As First Woman Nominated for President by Major Party; Bill Clinton's Speech About Hillary; Pres. Obama to Speak at Convention, Wednesday; VP Biden & VP Nominee Kaine to Speak Wednesday; Celebrity Clinton Supporter Perform "Fight Song" in DNC Video. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired July 27, 2016 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And welcome back.
This has been a night of unprecedented moments at this Democratic convention. Hillary Clinton officially securing her place in history as the first woman nominated for president by a major political party.
In a dramatic presentation on screen we saw Clinton break through a virtual glass ceiling, appearing in the hall to mark the milestone and thank delegates. It was a finale to the second night of this convention, featuring a very personal speech by Bill Clinton portraying his wife as a change maker who improves people's lives. He spoke more as a husband than a former president, weaving her accomplishments into a story of their courtship and their lives together.
In fact, let's play some of what Hillary Clinton said when she actually went live and started speaking after the sort of breaking through the virtual ceiling. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say, I may become the first woman president but one of you is next.
Thank you all. I can't wait to join you in Philadelphia. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think tonight was a lot of the Obama coalition, which she needs to win, on steroids, which is plus the women -- a very aggressive play on the women card. Amy Klobuchar, the senator from Minnesota, saying Donald Trump says that's what we're doing, fine, let's do it. Let's double down and play it.
Secretary Clinton there a point she didn't make much in 2008 where she thought that was not the case she wanted to make. She wanted to make it about her experience in Arkansas, in the White House and in the Senate. Not about the fact that she was a woman. She thought it was just implicit; she didn't need to make it. I think if you look at what was said tonight, who spoke tonight, the issues they talked about tonight, whether it's immigration, whether it's economics, whether it's equal pay, whether it's just her there at the end, it's very clear what they're trying to do because they understand the demographics that work in their favor.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I found it -- I'm sorry. You --
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, no, go ahead.
AXELROD: I found it interesting that the package was scheduled where -- I thought it was an incredibly inspiring and very well --
COOPER: You mean the video package.
AXELROD: The video package and her appearance all happened after 11:00, and I don't know whether the networks stuck with it or not. But you know, I think that it is -- you want to walk a line here because this is a historic moment. And you want to celebrate that moment. But you don't want to send the message that you're asking people to vote on that basis.
You know, we wrestled with this back in 2008, about how to approach the fact that this was a historic candidacy, and we generally erred on the side of not talking about it. Because we didn't want anybody to say you're trying to tell people they should vote for you just on that basis.
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you got in a little bit of trouble for that in the primary with Madeline Albright when she said there's a special place in hell for people who don't support women.
BORGER: Well -- and there is a problem. And there's been some debate in the campaign. Because remember, she started this campaign by talking about being a woman, you know.
In 2008 she talked about her experience. This campaign she started by talking about being a woman. Then it went away. And now we're bringing it back. I think because of the historic moment here tonight and because they want to convince every woman who likes her to get out there and vote. It was a mobilization thing.
The question that I have after tonight is do people, the independent voters, and our poll shows whether it's too early or not that after Trump's convention he made a lot of headway with Independent voters.
So the question I have is after tonight's convention did they just shut it off and say oh, there's nothing here for me. I'm not interested in this and it's more of the same from Hillary Clinton's people.
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: We've been talking in the break, no mention of Margaret Thatcher or the current prime minister of Great Britain, who's a woman, Theresa May, and no mention of Susan B. Anthony, quite the pioneer, who was of course pro life. So I guess she wasn't in there.
On another score that interests me, if a Republican had stood up and given the kind of speech that Bill Clinton had gave, you can bet that by now every last media organization would be out there vetting the story and saying, was this story true? Is this how it worked -- finding some old college friend to say this, that and the other thing? And I'm just -- just as a matter of curiosity are there going to be people out there who are going to go through --
NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, probably.
BORGER: I think it raises that.
HENDERSON: Sure. Yes.
DOYLE: Every aspect of Hillary's life has been vetted. I mean, go ahead.
LORD: Down to her hair bands.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This point, though, about President Obama, then Senator Obama, didn't overtly talk about being the first African-American president and it worked and you were right. But Senator McCain was not saying let's roll back the Civil Rights Act, let's roll back the Voting Rights Act, let's roll back the Public Accommodations Act.
[00:05:05] LORD: That's because he's a Republican.
BEGALA: Donald Trump has said -- Donald Trump has said I want to defund Planned Parenthood. He has said I think women should be punished for having an abortion. He has picked as a running mate a guy who said he would shut down the entire federal government.
So in other words, the issues --
AXELROD: You don't think that if the candidate was a man that those things would be as egregious from the standpoint of progressives?
BEGALA: Well, of course I would. But I think Amy Klobuchar and Cecile Richards who's from Planned Parenthood --
AXELROD: I'm making a clinical point about the packaging of this. If you want things to fall in the 10th to 11th hour when all the networks are on and you get the largest audience and you want to reach these women who Gloria is talking about, do you schedule it after Bill Clinton speaks?
BEGALA: By the way, who spoke for 40 minutes -- not a long speech for a major speech at a political convention.
COOPER: Let's just play a little bit more -- a couple more sound bites from Bill Clinton. I think we have one lined up for now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those of us who have more yesterdays than tomorrows tend to care more about our children and grandchildren. The reason you should elect her is that in the greatest country on earth we have always been about tomorrow. Your children and grandchildren will bless you forever if you do.
God bless you. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just one of many moments. But David, you thought it was more effective, as you said earlier, more effective earlier on when this was --
AXELROD: Yes, although that was very touching.
AXELROD: That was very touching because at the end of the day wherever you come from, whatever your background is, we are first -- we're fathers, we're grandfathers, we're grandmothers, and you know, that is something that binds everyone. And I thought that was very touching.
I thought where -- he's very effective. He's very effective I thought that he was more affecting talking about her personally in his storytelling than he was in make the political arguments.
COOPER: We have one of those moments I think about where he was sort of talking about the third time is the charm. Let's see if we have that lined up to play. And that would be no.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
B. CLINTON: If you win elections on the theory that government is always bad and will mess up a two-car parade, a real change maker represents a real threat.
So you're only option is to create a cartoon, a cartoon alternative then run against the cartoon. Cartoons are two-dimensional. They're easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard. And a lot of people even think it's boring. Good for you because earlier today you nominated the real one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: To paraphrase Obi Wan that's not the clip I was looking for.
AXELROD: I don't think that was nearly as effective as when he told the story about how they met and how they dated and how first courted her and all that stuff. That's a political argument. Bill Clinton -- one of you guys said
he's great at reframing arguments -- maybe you did, Paul. And he is brilliant at it. And that was a brilliant effort at that.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I just think that you actually teed up something about this question of identity. Mr. Lord and I have gone back and forth and others have.
LORD: Every time you call me Mr. Lord I know I'm in trouble.
BEGALA: Here we go. Here we go.
JONES: No fireworks. No shade. But it's a different era. Eight years ago I think people felt that if you just didn't talk about it, if you just tried to pretend it wasn't happening that then the other side wouldn't raise it. So you don't talk about race, they won't talk about race. And it will all be good.
What happened was the Obama campaign didn't talk about it and suddenly what we got was, especially online, an awful lot of racially coded stuff. Michelle Obama as a gorilla -- both as an animal and a militant. You've got the birtherism stuff which I believe was racially coded. You don't agree with me, I know.
And it's felt like, you know what, no matter what we do they're going to raise it anyway. So you've now seen I think over the past eight years more of a willingness for people to say listen, let's just put it out there. We don't believe -- we don't trust the other side not to raise it in a negative way, in a coded way, so we're just going to raise it.
AXELROD: He actually made probably one of the most memorable speeches of his political career right here in this city on the issue of race in the campaign to deal with the things that you were talking about. But that's different than, you know, celebrating the historic event which was obvious to everyone.
[00:10:05] In fact, the night that he accepted the nomination was the anniversary of Martin Luther King's speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
JONES: I remember that.
AXELROD: And he had a -- he had a moving reference to it in his speech but it was way down in the speech -- never mentioned King.
JONES: Very muted.
AXELROD: And it was -- you know, I'll always remember that because when he was rehearsing the speech that night it was one of the few times I actually saw him be overcome and he asked for some time and went into the restroom to collect himself because the enormity of the historic nature of the event kind of got to him but it was all -- you know. I'm not saying it's right, one way is right or wrong. I was just interested because I think that -- I think this was a very well- calculated couple of days --
BORGER: Oh yes.
AXELROD: -- very well-produced, very well thought through strategically. The fact that that package appeared at the time that it did said to me that was for the people in the hall as much as for people in the country.
KING: Something about the clip you did play -- Obi Wan, not the one you wanted there. When Bill Clinton was talking about, you know, if you're making the case that the government would screw up a two-car parade, he's making the traditional -- this has been about government. These Democrats are talking about using government from their view for good to help people, using the levers of government to help people.
Traditionally, you have the Democrats versus the Republicans. The Republicans are talking about limited government, smaller government, moving power back to the states. That wasn't Donald Trump's convention. This is Democrats versus Trump. This is not Democrats versus Republican.
Trump barely makes the case. He says he needs to change Washington. He says Washington is broken. He makes the change argument but he doesn't make the traditional conservative smaller government argument. He's now an ideological person.
So some of the old Democratic -- the debates you think you're going to have -- we're not having. Ivanka stood up at the convention and said her father's going to pass a child care program. Her father's going to help women in the workplace. And you call the campaign and you say, what's that going to look like? How are you going to pay for it? And they say well, we're not exactly sure, come back to us later.
But Donald Trump doesn't run against government like Ronald Reagan did. He just doesn't.
BORGER: Do you think that Bill Clinton's speech tonight, putting the government issue aside and all the rest, her big problem is trust, her big problem is likability -- right? And do you think this changes people's minds because of the way he has presented her this evening?
I mean we haven't heard this before from him. A lot of people will think it's bunk. It's a fairy tale. They don't have a good marriage. Look at what happened in the 90s, et cetera, et cetera.
DOYLE: I think the whole evening tried to do that.
DOYLE: I mean they portrayed Hillary through the lens of her work with children. I mean every speaker touched upon it. Madeline Albright, the mothers of the movement. They talked about her work at Children's Defense Fund. And certainly Bill Clinton talked about it as a mother to Chelsea and her work with children in Arkansas.
And Michelle Obama teed it up last night when she said that the next president is going to have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years. So I think they are trying to soften her up by showing her work for children for the last 40 years.
LORD: When we talk -- when we listen to that clip of President Clinton talking about a cartoon, I mean, I think I can safely say that on the left side of the spectrum Donald Trump and some Republicans, moderate Republicans, Donald Trump has been made into a cartoon, which most assuredly he is not.
You know, let's consent that there's a degree of inevitability here if you run for president of the United States, whoever you may be. Thomas Nast and all of that stuff from 19th century again. But yes, of course, this is what they do.
President Obama and his big ears, and all this kind of stuff; I mean JFK -- this is what they do. And the image that goes with it that they're one way or another, that they're not good people or that they can't be trusted or that they're idiots, et cetera.
So that cartoon business is in play with Donald Trump, and I would say it's false, knowing Donald Trump.
BEGALA: Right. But I think the Republicans had an opportunity to flesh out Donald Trump more fully. Certainly his kids did and his wife. But most of the rest of them didn't because they kind of didn't know him.
BEGALA: He hasn't been in politics. I think President Clinton tonight did try to open people's minds. I don't think it solves every problem. It opens the mind. She has to close the deal on Thursday.
COOPER: I think we also heard that from a lot of other speakers earlier in the night. I mean from the woman who was burned over 80 percent of her body during 9/11, who said look, Hillary came to hold my hand, there were no cameras there and she was there. She called -- it was time and time again.
We've got to take a quick break. We're going to have a lot more coming up.
The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown -- they were on stage tonight. It was certainly a powerful moment for many in this hall and no doubt at home. But what impact did it actually have on voters?
Our coverage continues after this.
[00:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Welcome back to the second night of the Democratic national convention.
Earlier, well before Bill Clinton's speech, we had a number of mothers who have lost children to violence, a number of whom were killed by police officers: Sandra Bland who was found hanging in a jail cell after being arrested when she was pulled over in a traffic stop; also the mother of one child who was killed in gang violence.
We want to play some of what they had to say and then we'll talk about it with our panel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven.
LUCY MCBATH, MOTHER OF JORDAN DAVIS: Hillary Clinton isn't afraid to say that black lives matter. She isn't afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish.
[00:19:56] GENEVA REED-VEAL, MOTHER OF SANDRA BLAND: She knows that when a young black life is cut short it's not just a loss. It's a personal loss. It's a national loss. It's a loss that diminishes all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Incredibly powerful moment to have that group of moms, a group that no mother obviously wants to be part of.
HENDERSON: Yes. And I think a real victory for the Black Lives Matter movement. I mean this movement that grew up around the death of Trayvon Martin and continued with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
I think what she said, this idea that the deaths of these black men and women, it's a national loss and it's one that diminishes us all. I mean I think that's what they're trying to do.
You know, people always balk at this idea of black lives matter. The idea really is that black lives matter too and that these black men and women who have been killed, sometimes by police officers, sometimes by gang members, should be part of the national discussion and part of an outrage, I think, in terms of a lot of the street violence that's going on and in terms of a lot of things that are going on with police officers as well.
COOPER: We should point out that here in Philadelphia the leading police union said that they were insulted that Clinton did not have -- or did not invite family members of fallen police officers to be on the stage. KING: You do have sort of a parallel universe between the two
conventions where the same issues are discussed but in very different ways. Here you had the Black Lives Matter's chants in the hall, the emphasis on the victims, the children who were killed, and several speakers including one of the mothers, said we also need to make sure we respect police because most police officers are good.
But it was sort of violence the first and the younger people first and the African-American victims first and then mentioning the police.
At the Donald Trump convention it was law and order, police, blue lives matter -- a very strong message -- and several speakers also said that we need to find a way to get our communities to talk together.
HENDERSON: You had an argument for gun legislation too. That's something the Democrats think they can win on.
LORD: The parents of -- who lost children to illegal immigration crime.
AXELROD: Yes. But that's a different (inaudible) and there were a couple others.
Look, I think anybody with a pulse was moved by that because we all identify with the horror of what it would be like to lose a child like that. It was a powerful, powerful moment. It could have been a transformational moment if in fact there were survivors of a police officer on the stage as well because what it would have said is this is a national problem, we have to solve it together and recognize ourselves in each other.
LORD: And some of the police officers, at least I forget, in Baton Rouge I think, were black.
AXELROD: Well, there was the police officer who wrote that incredibly moving essay on Facebook just a few days before he was killed about not knowing where he belonged.
But this is also a video about Hillary Clinton meeting with these women and convincing them that they would be better together than separate.
JONES: Stronger together.
BORGER: Stronger together -- oh, there you go. Stronger together and you had the video of Hillary saying to them, you know, you've got to organize.
So I think in a way I agree with you on the blue lives matter part of it but I think this was part of building the case for Hillary Clinton as somebody they could turn to.
(CROSSTALK) BORGER: So it was part of that story.
BEGALA: Cops were not forgotten or forsaken, though. David makes a great point about the stagecraft. But the former attorney general of the United States spoke out powerfully against these savage murders of police officers. Joe Sweeney -- a hero cop from 9/11 -- from the NYPD police detective, he spoke. Chief McSlay, the chief of police of Pittsburgh, in uniform, spoke.
I do think they tried to honor cops. I think the synthesis that you suggest would have been much more dramatic. But again, unlike the Republican convention, which did not honor black lives matter at all, in fact they insulted them, I think the Democrats tonight tried to give the proper honor to our cops as well as to --
COOPER: By the way, Montrell Jackson is the name of the African- American police officer who was killed in Baton Rouge, who had a young son, I think if memory serves me correct, one or two months old.
COOPER: Let's go back down to Wolf -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Anderson, it was a very powerful moment when the mothers of those young black men were speaking. Some of them were killed by police officers. Some of them were killed not by police officers. But all of it was a very powerful moment.
And you could tell -- Jake, we are down here on the floor -- this crowd was mesmerized.
JAKE TAPPERA, CNN HOST: Yes, it was very emotional, obviously, to have a number of mothers who had lost their children, grown children. And it also -- it does pose some of the issues and dilemmas that the panel was just discussing, which is you want to pay tribute.
[00:25:00] And yet you don't want to fall into the binary trap that Donald Trump is portraying, which is you're either on the side of the police or you're against law and order. That's how he is casting this.
And then there is the more nuanced way that Democrats are trying to discuss these issues.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- which doesn't work in a sound bite. It just doesn't. That's part of the struggle.
TAPPER: Nuance is not easy.
BASH: It's not easy at all. And just like you said, I mean one of the -- my most vivid memories of the convention last week in Cleveland was the police chief, the Dallas police chief -- I think it was, maybe it wasn't Dallas but a police chief standing up and saying blue lives matter, and the whole place going nuts. And here it was black lives matter that everybody was chanting. But I thought it was interesting, and our Pam Brown was at the back of the stage so she could watch Bill Clinton speak and also watch the teleprompter. She said that he added something that wasn't in his prepared text about the Dallas police being protectors.
So, you know, his instinct was to give it a more nuanced feel, to add that into the narrative of this convention after we heard those moving speeches from the mothers.
BLITZER: It was an important moment in Bill Clinton's speech -- a lot of important moments in that speech.
But I think this whole section of the program was entitled "Social Justice: Fights of her life". And they tried to underscore how she personally was involved in trying to promote social justice.
He went back to Yale Law School, which he did, immediately following Yale Law School. But these mothers came out and said you can be effective if you work together.
TAPPER: I think about -- I remember it was about a year ago maybe when Black Lives Matter just started to become a chant and Hillary Clinton was campaigning in Missouri. Not in Ferguson but right outside Ferguson. And somebody asked her the question about Black Lives Matter and she gave the answer which is now considered the wrong answer in a Democratic convention, "all lives matter".
TAPPER: And there became a tremendous education process among the Black Lives Matter activists and the Democratic politicians.
BASH: And it was Bernie Sanders also who had to have the education.
TAPPER: As did Martin O'Malley --
TAPPER: -- former governor of Maryland who also was --
TAPPER: -- a presidential candidate for a while there. There was this education process. And to think about that being, if memory serves just, you know, about a year ago, maybe a little bit over a year ago versus not only did the Democratic convention start chanting black lives matter but these mothers, Trayvon Martin's mother and the mother of so many of these other victims of these horrible stories had a prime speaking role with a video showing Hillary Clinton meeting with them behind closed doors.
That is a remarkably quick change from that moment in that Missouri town hall where Hillary Clinton gave the, quote unquote, "wrong answer on black lives matter".
BLITZER: Those mothers stood on the stage. There were I think about eight of them. And they were poised and they delivered really personal, meaningful accounts of how their lives changed -- whether Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland. They went through all those cases. And I think people watching obviously would be very, very moved.
BASH: Listen -- as a mother I can't even imagine that happening or giving a speech like that to talk about it. Obviously, you guys are parents as well. It must have been the hardest thing in the world to do.
And, you know, they're not politicians. They are real people who were put in the spotlight because of horrible, horrible tragedies. And that's what made it so moving.
TAPPER: And one of the mothers actually made the same point which Bill Clinton made, which was to also praise the police. She said something along the lines of most police are -- I forget. I'm going to do injustice to her remarks. So I won't --
BLITZER: She said majority of police are very good.
TAPPER: Yes. She praised police. So there obviously -- look, there is a sensitivity to this among Democrats. I've talked to Democrats here who want to make sure that their embrace of these mothers is not misinterpreted or twisted by their political opponents who don't want it to be seen as they're on the wrong side of the police and the majority of police.
So you heard that sensitivity. You saw the sensitivity also with the addition of the police chief from Pittsburgh. And I believe the police commissioner here in Philadelphia, Charles Ramsey, is also going to address the convention.
BLITZER: He'll be speaking. And Eric Holder pointed out his brother was a police officer. And we have to thank the police for all they do to protect all of us.
Coming up -- we're taking a closer look at the pivotal speeches tomorrow night by President Obama, Vice President Biden, Hillary Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine and lot more.
We'll be right back.
[00:29:58] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: And welcome back to night two of the Democratic National Convention. Just looking forward to tomorrow in terms of speakers.
Vice President Biden is going to be speaking here. President Obama as well. Also vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine. Obviously, a very important night.
I think one of the things you had said back in the Republican convention, that for a vice presidential nominee really the most important nights are the night they speak at the convention and also the night of the debate. AXELROD: Of the debate, yes. Well, for Tim Kaine, it's particularly important because he's not well-known and there was resistance to his nomination on the part of some of the Bernie Sanders delegates, who booed him earlier in the convention.
So it's going to be an important introduction, not just to the hall, but to the country. He did very well on Saturday. And the question is can he replicate that performance here? It was a very winning introduction.
COOPER: What happened Saturday, too, as well as it might have gone in the intro, then Sunday was sort of, you know --
HENDERSON: DNC --
COOPER: The DNC drama, the leaked e-mails and Debbie Wasserman- Schultz.
[00:35:00] COOPER: So this is really in some ways a huge night. It's obviously a huge night for him.
AXELROD: His misfortune is he's pinned in between Joe Biden and Barack Obama. It's going to be hard to stand out in that array of speakers. But it's going to be important for him. And I think the president's speech is going to be very important for Hillary Clinton because he can provide -- if Bill Clinton provided a personal testimonial about her, Barack Obama can provide a professional testimonial in a way and speak to her qualities as a political leader, as a leader in government.
His experiences with her. And that's going to be another part of the profile that they want to fill out in these four days.
KING: It's a great question. Can President Obama be for Hillary Clinton what Bill Clinton was for President Obama?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.
KING: In the sense that if you talk to people inside the Romney campaign, again, if you look at the historical data, the unemployment rate, where the country was, and the fact that a lot of Republicans thought we can win. We can win. It was competitive for a while.
They looked at the right track, wrong track number coming into the convention seasons and right after the conventions. And it was weak, but the percentage of Americans who said that we were on the right track jumped about ten points.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa.
KING: After the conventions. And inside the Romney campaign they gave Bill Clinton -- the whole convention, but Bill Clinton sort of the exclamation point for that growth. People felt a little bit better about their country. It wasn't great numbers but they got better. They felt a little better about their country, they were willing to keep their president. You stay with the party in power.
That's what -- the right track number right now is dismal. The last "NBC/Wall Street Journal" poll only 20 percent of Americans said the country is on the right track.
BORGER: But President Obama is popular. He's got 56 percent popularity rating, which correct me if I'm wrong, guys, I don't think it's been that high in --
KING: Our poll is a little lower. But in our poll, he's in a good place.
BORGER: But is it really --
KING: He can move the dial, make people feel better, it helps her.
BORGER: By Election Day.
BEGALA: By Election, the presidential job approval and right direction usually converge. At least that gap. It's an enormous gap. The president is at or above 50. And the right direction is what, 20? Those will move. And I'm actually --
COOPER: What is it that makes those move together?
BEGALA: The presidency's embodiment of how things are going. And so if you really like the president, you're more likely by the end to say, OK, let's stay in this direction. And you'll see, you saw it in 2012. You saw a big upswing in the last 100 days of that election of the right direction.
I don't know if you'll see that now. Some of the economic indicators which also helped drive that enormously are pretty positive. But you'll see them come close. They won't completely converge. Usually it doesn't outstrip by 36 points like this.
JONES: But between now and then, we have a long way to go. And I think tomorrow -- just to review, two big things have been accomplished, but a lot is left to be accomplished in the next two days.
First of all, there could have been a real civil war. There could have been protests from the Sanders people that were serious and sustained and disruptive on the floor.
LORD: There was a walkout.
JONES: There was a walkout, but that's definitely --
LORD: Of delegates.
JONES: Walkouts are what you do when you're trying to show that you're mad. Sit-ins are what you do when you're trying to shut down a convention, and there was no sit-in. Trust me, I know all the tactics.
The walkouts, the best you're going to get from folks like me. So you got -- you got past that. That was not a guaranteed thing. You got past that. And then you had to present a Hillary Clinton that people could begin to connect the dots in a good way.
It's so strange to me. If I were Hillary Clinton and had done all the stuff she has done, I would be even more obnoxious than I am. I would talk about 9/11 all the time. I would brag and boast. She doesn't do that. And in some ways that reticence to brag I think lets her be poorly defined. So two good things that happened. But let's be clear. If all we do as Democrats is to not have a fight and make Hillary look a little better and say we're inclusive, we have wasted this convention.
Because the things that people are most concerned about, a job and getting killed by, you know, crime or by some terrorist thing, those things have not been addressed yet. And you say we're going to get there, I'm saying we have to get there tomorrow.
You know, you're staying we're going to get there. I'm saying we have to get there tomorrow.
LORD: You know, this speech, her speech of when she accepts the nomination, I think that that could be bigger than it is for most presidential nominees.
I mean, every presidential nominee faces the moment where if they're going to stand there and be seen as the potential next president, but precisely because she is the first woman. I think that there are going to be different metrics applied to it and precisely because she's Hillary Clinton. I think there are going to be different metrics applied to it.
And whether she'll pass or not, it depends on what you say about we've got to wait a few weeks to find out.
AXELROD: Yes, yes, but I do think that we'll know something that night. If she can have a conversation with the American people that night, if she can be a little more revealing of herself, if she speaks in language that doesn't sound like political language --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
AXELROD: But instead sounds like a genuine talk as you talk about President Clinton night, if she can be a little more revealing of herself, if she speaks in language that doesn't sound like political language --
AXELROD: But instead sounds like a genuine talk, as you talked about President Clinton. These are not her strengths. These are not her strengths.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
AXELROD: But presidential campaigns are all about tests. This is one of those tests.
LORD: Right. A big one.
AXELROD: I think that that everything else can go well, but a lot is -- I agree with you, Jeffrey. A lot -- and I don't say that, you know, idly. A lot rests on that speech.
HENDERSON: You know, I think too often Obama is obviously very engaged with this campaign and he very much wants to be the anti- trump. And one of the things I think he does, and I hope Hillary Clinton doesn't do the same thing, is he often meets people's anxieties and fears and feelings with charts and data. And I think that's a mistake.
I mean, he was on a press conference a couple of days ago and talking about the crime rate, and he said, and this is true, that the crime rate -- the major crime rate has been going down, and that's true. But I think they're missing an opportunity to really tap into how people are feeling. I think that's something that Hillary Clinton has to do and that most Democrats haven't done yet.
BORGER: So before we get to Hillary Clinton, which is the last night, my question about tomorrow night is, OK, you have the vice president, we talked about how big a deal this is for him to introduce himself.
AXELROD: By the way, a guy who's traditionally had a close relationship with police, with firefighters, very close --
BORGER: Exactly. Exactly. But then you have Joe Biden. You have the vice president and the president. How do they differentiate what they talk about when they talk about Hillary Clinton? Does the vice president go personal and the president sort of makes the case for unfinished business, and she's the one who can complete what we set out to do. And, obviously, it's about his legacy and her legacy. What does Joe Biden do?
How do you --
AXELROD: Well, here's the thing --
BORGER: When you're doing a convention, how do you keep that from becoming the same speech?
AXELROD: The good news is they actually work down the hall from each other.
BORGER: What are you writing?
AXELROD: They can come on down and exchange drafts and make sure that they're not being duplicative.
BORGER: But how would you differentiate --
BEGALA: One way would be Joe Biden is a heat-seeking missile to the heart of blue-collar working people.
BORGER: Yes, right.
BEGALA: He is still a son of a car salesman from Scranton.
AXELROD: Absolutely. The middle-class project is the project of his life.
BORGER: He talks about that.
BEGALA: Add to that, just the heartbreaking emotion, the last time Joe Biden spoke at a convention, he was introduced by his son, Beau, a beloved person in this party. And now he's no longer with us. So, I think, if it was me, political consultant, speechwriter, they both do a little of both. But I would really have the vice president focus on the economic and piece, and the president focus on the commander-in- chief piece.
And Nia is exactly right. I talked to a very senior hill senator on national security, who's a real expert on this. But he said what Democrats -- he's Democrat.
Democrats have to understand, you have to begin with the, "I will hunt them down and kill them" stuff. And then all the big brain, we'll coordinate better with the European Union, OK? And I think that advice is what Nia said. It's exactly right. The president -- it's not, it won't be that clean divide but if it's me, as a speechwriter, that's one way I'd divide it up.
AXELROD: Well, that would be the natural way to go. I would expect the president would touch on the economy as well. And I would advise all the speakers other than national security speakers to really hone in on the economy because that is an advantage, at least in polling, for Donald Trump right now. And sort of deconstructing his argument, offering people a tangible sense of where Hillary Clinton would lead. And I expect she'll do some of that in her speech, or a lot of that in her speech on Thursday night.
KING: One of my big questions (INAUDIBLE) is they're building this ramp for her.
KING: You have these human stories. There are people trying to say, Bill Clinton trying to say, you know, she's a doer, not a talker. Donald Trump's a talker. She's a doer. It ain't pretty, but it's hard and she gets it done. You mentioned the 9/11 people came, the congressman now, who was a cop then, the woman who was burned, what a personal story. These mothers even. The mothers of the victim said she spent some time with us. She comes back. She follows up. She comes back. She does the hard work.
So they're adding this human element. Can she then, forgive me, tear down the wall? Because she's had this wall around her. If you go back to the Clinton campaign days when she was the first lady of Arkansas, she was careful, but she would come back on the plane and have a drink with you at the end of the night.
She would talk to you. She would tell stories. She would talk about sports. She would talk about her family. She was much more open.
I get it. The investigations have hardened her. And the views of many made her paranoid. It made her defensive and suspicious.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's hard for her. This is a very difficult thing for her.
KING: Can't she let down that wall?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's lived a life where she -- every word that she has uttered has been scrutinized and dissected, and it's hard for her to get out there when she knows the cameras are running. And for her not to think about what she's going to say before she says it. And that obviously comes through --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But she's reading it this time.
HENDERSON: That's right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's reading it this time, but she's also -- you know, she's a wonk. And I share your concern, David. She cannot give a speech that is a 12-point policy wonk speech --
[19:40:07] JONES: Before you get in, I think she's got another challenge, and you know her better than me, about anybody here. I think this hall is so big. The tendency -- the masters, Michelle Obama didn't fall into it. Bill Clinton didn't fall into it. But you've seen some very good speakers.
Either Elizabeth Warren almost gets swallowed up by the hall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought Cory was too --
(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes.
JONES: So when you're standing up there, I don't think people understand. You're standing up there, you are in a very, very big arena here. And to try to establish that in the skeptic would be doubly challenging.
Are you worried about that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, no, I'm not worried about that so much because this is going to be her fifth convention speech. Now, granted, it's always been in support of someone else, whether it's her husband or Barack Obama. This time she's going to do it for herself. And that is difficult for her. It's like, as you pointed out -
COOPER: It is also hard to figure whether you talk over the crowd -- I mean, to --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With that style -- and she knows how to do that.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break.
Coming up, celebrities coming together tonight to honor Hillary Clinton with a fresh take on her theme song. We'll see that next.
COOPER: Welcome back to the second night of the Democratic National Convention. One of the videos that you might have missed, we didn't actually air it as it played, is a kind of reinterpretation of a popular song that's been used on the campaign trail. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PLAYING "FIGHT SONG"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: There you go.
LORD: I can already -- I can already --
COOPER: A video that makes me feel old.
AXELROD: That was an elaborate cultural awareness test.
AXELROD: I failed miserably.
LORD: And for those who flunk it, those people looking at that, the one name they will remember is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Margaret Thatcher.
LORD: Jane Fonda.
HENDERSON: We did not have the best vote.
COOPER: I got maybe 25 percent of these people.
KING: It is again the parallel universe. This is a highly-produced television show with an arc. They did, yes, they haven't talked about ISIS. The Republicans say a-ha. The republicans were focusing on making a bet that -- Donald Trump made a bet at his convention that the issues in the news right now, anxiety about security, anxiety about the economy, then adding his change message and repeat, repeat, repeat. That's going to shape the race.
This is trying to build an arc about the campaign. We'll get to the generals. We'll get to Hillary.
KING: There's more production. And then we'll go through the same thing again as we talk about the line-up: the president of the united states, the first lady, the vice president, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders who stepped up huge for the Clinton campaign today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
KING: In an enormous way, former president and the candidate. Their traditional politics. We have all hands on deck. An a-list of stars in the Democratic Party.
Can they sway voters versus Donald Trump and his children?
COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) It was interesting, though, I mean, again, tonight, for the first time, you had President Clinton -- former President Clinton calling her a change maker. And I don't know if that's an attempt to get sort of a one-line explanation of who Hillary Clinton is. Because I think that's something that Donald Trump has. Make America great again. Law and order candidate.
(CROSSTALK) LORD: You know, one thing that we're leaving out of this equation are these e-mails. I don't mean her State Department e-mails. I mean this WikiLeaks thing. We have absolutely no -- what is it, 20,000 of them?
COOPER: Right, of what's more to come.
LORD: We have no idea --
JONES: That will be news when it actually happens. But what actually has happened today, that was cool.
JONES: I mean, one thing that you just can't take away when you compare the two things, where you had Scott Baio and whatever --
HENDERSON: Antonio Sabato Jr.
LORD: Don't be knocking Chachi.
COOPER: Antonio Sabato Jr. in "Chippendales." I have it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
COOPER: I heard it's like the new "Hamilton."
COOPER: Our coverage continues with Don Lemon at the CNN Grill right now after this.