For two weeks we've been hearing about how it was a huge mistake to give the Clintons not one but two nights in Denver. But one of the unforeseen advantages of this arrangement is that it's yielding 24 hours of goodwill between Obama and Bill in the run up to the latter's speech tonight. Goodwill is, of course, a commodity that's been famously absent from their relationship to this point.
As David Maraniss and Mark Halperin both reported, Obama called Hillary after her speech to rave about it, then called Bill and said, according to Halperin:
Senator Clinton could not have been better and made the case for change. Obama said he knew how proud he must have been watching as he was last night watching Michelle speak and how grateful he was for their support.
I suspect this will, in turn, put Bill in a better frame of mind heading into tonight. As Maraniss writes:
"We all know that he wants to be loved. Just call him. Call him any time of day or night," said one associate. "Talk to him about anything. Talk to him about the Olympics or what he thinks about a certain congressional district or even about the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle. Obama could even put the phone in a drawer and just let President Clinton talk away. It wouldn't take much. It could be so easy."
If, on the other hand, the two Clinton speeches had been piled right on top of one another, the good feelings wouldn't have had a chance to percolate, and we could have seen a more subdued Bill Clinton tonight.
I'm not sure anyone gamed it out this way, but the lineup seems to be working out about as well as it could have.