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Bill Clinton to Make Prime Time DNC Speech; Cheney and McCain Trade Shots

Bill Clinton Hollywood Bowl Concert - H 2011
Robyn Beck/Getty Images

The former president will return to the spotlight with a prime time address to the nation, while the GOP's past leaders bicker publicly.

This convention season, Democrats will look to their past in hopes of securing their future, while Republicans will do their best to keep their recent history safely in the rearview.

Former President Bill Clinton will deliver the official nominating address at this year's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, The New York Times reports, in which he will make a forceful argument that President Obama is the choice to lead the nation back to the economic prosperity last seen in the 1990s.

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The speech will offer Clinton a prime time platform, and will be heavy with symbolism; he was critical of Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary, during which his wife, Hillary Clinton, now Obama's Secretary of State, also sought the White House.

"There isn’t anybody on the planet who has a greater perspective on not just the last four years, but the last two decades, than Bill Clinton," David Axelrod, Obama's top political guru, told The Times. "He can really articulate the choice that is before people."

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Meanwhile, the GOP, which has sought to pin the recession on Obama and has kept former President George W. Bush out of the spotlight, will not have its last vice president, Dick Cheney, in attendance at its convention in Tampa. With Bush having already announced his intended absence, the symbolism on the right is quite obvious, as well.

On Sunday, Cheney told ABC News that he thought 2008 GOP nominee Sen. John McCain made a mistake in choosing former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, a shot to which McCain responded forcefully.

"Well, I’m always glad to get comments four years later," he said Monday on Fox News. "I respect the Vice President. He and I had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not. I don’t think we should have. But the fact is that I’m proud of Sarah Palin. I’m proud of the job she did. I’m proud of the job she continues to do. And so everybody has their own views and I respect those views, but I’m proud of what we did."