WASHINGTON — Bill Clinton's in, George W. Bush is out. Jimmy Carter gets only a cameo. Ronald Reagan is ever-present, almost a quarter century after his presidency and eight years after his death.
The way Democrats and Republicans treat their ex-presidents at convention time reflects each man's personal popularity — and also how well he's weathered changing party politics.
It helps to be a dynamite speaker, too. Clinton scores on all three: His speeches are rousing, his popularity extends to coveted independent voters and his centrist appeal plays well.
President Barack Obama is entrusting Clinton with a convention slot of strategic importance — introducing Obama's name for nomination Wednesday night.