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The 2012 nomination convention for the Democratic Party will be held in Charlotte, NC from September 4th - 6th. KUNC will be following the events along with The Colorado Statesman and NPR News. The Colorado Statesman is on site in Charlotte, you can follow Ernest Luning on Twitter @eluning.

The Democrats' Most Interesting Man: Bill Clinton In A Word ... Or Five

I say "Bill Clinton"; you say?
Justin Sullivan
Getty Images For The Clinton Foundation
I say "Bill Clinton"; you say?

Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?

The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.

Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.

Party members gathered in this welcoming, if soggy, city are in a state of high anticipation, expecting their "most interesting man" to serve up a stemwinder of convention proportions.

(But not of the 1988 variety, when his turn at the convention podium became interminable; he elicited the loudest applause when he uttered the words, "in closing.")

To get a sense of how convention-goers view the former president, whose favorability Gallup poll number measures at 66 percent nationally — the same as his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — we asked Democrats here to give us their short-and-sweet answer to: "If we say Bill Clinton, you say?"

And what we've been hearing on the streets of Charlotte more than echoes Gallup's findings. Clinton, not surprisingly, remains extraordinarily popular among members of his party.

Turns out, photographer Becky Lettenberger and I independently and not intentionally gathered responses from far more women than men. But here's what we found:

-- Veleria Levy, "40 plus", delegate from North Carolina: "Game changer"

-- Priscilla Chavez, 64, delegate from New Mexico, retired state employee: "Great president"

-- Carla Arellanes, 52, delegate from New Mexico, retired human resource administrator: "handsome"

-- Caroline Sink, 54, lawyer from Charlotte: "Good president, controversial"

-- Liz McKeithen, 74, from Charlotte: "Oh my gracious! We'll take him again!"

Delegate Mike Evans, 34, is a high school teacher in Missouri.
Becky Lettenberger / NPR
Delegate Mike Evans, 34, is a high school teacher in Missouri.

-- Mike Evans, 34, delegate from Missouri, high school teacher: "Leadership and money; growing up in the '90s, times were good"

-- Matt Wilborn, 68, supporter from Atlanta, fast-food-restaurant owner: "Barack Obama"

-- Joy Williams, 65, delegate from Brandon, Miss., retired: "Persona — energy, experience, personality"

Ernest Brooks, 70, from Jackson, Tenn.
Liz Halloran / NPR
Ernest Brooks, 70, from Jackson, Tenn.

-- Ernest Brooks, 70, insurance associate, Jackson, Tenn.: "Fantastic president of yesterday"

-- State Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, 66, Baton Rouge, La.: "A good soul president"

-- Brandon Anderson, 25, waiter from Charlotte: "Hillary Clinton"

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.
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