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Clinton Talk-athons

August 29, 1996

With speeches at critical points in his career, President Clinton has demonstrated he can sway public opinion through his oratory, and that he can ramble on longer than his advisors suggest. For those reasons, many observers will be watching the clock as he delivers his acceptance speech tonight--and looking to public opinion polls in the days ahead as a measure of his persuasiveness. Dole's acceptance speech ran 57 minutes.

July 20, 1988 / 33 minutes.

Nominating speech for Democratic presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis.

Then-Arkansas Gov. Clinton talked for more than twice the allotted time, leading the less-than-rapt convention hall to erupt in applause when he uttered, "In closing...." Clinton later said the chants and cheers of delegates had extended the speech, but some political observers dubbed it: "nationally televised political suicide."

July 16, 1992 / 53 minutes

Acceptance speech for Democratic nomination.

Clinton defended himself against Republican attacks and set forth his challenge to President Bush, particularly against the administration's economic record.

January. 20, 1993 / 14 minutes

Inaugural address

Clinton tried to evoke the Kennedy spirit, telling Americans that they must accept sacrifices to "renew America" for future generations.

Feb. 17, 1993 / 61 minutes

Speech to joint session of Congress on economy and budget deficit.

President outlined his plan to stimulate the economy and reduced the budget deficit through $496 billion in tax increases and spending cuts over four years. He warned that failure to act on the deficit would be "condemning our children and our children's children to a lesser life than we enjoyed."

September 22, 1993 / 53 minutes

Health care address to joint session of Congress.

In passionate remarks, Clinton outlined his plan for overhauling health care system. President asked each American to "look into your heart and tell me that the greatest nation in the history of the world is powerless to confront this crisis."

Jan. 22, 1996 / 60 minutes

State of the Union address.

President set forth themes for his campaign, declaring that the era of big government is over and listing challenges for the nation: increasing the minimum wage, protecting the environment, overhauling welfare, reforming campaign financing, improving education and fighting crime.

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