Obama says he is confident in passing the baton to Hillary Clinton.

Obama says he is confident in passing the baton to Hillary Clinton. Andrew Harnik/AP

Democrats Laud Power of Government, Clinton's Management Skills

Hillary praised as "steady," a "natural leader" and "cool" under pressure.

Last week, Republicans used their national convention to deplore an overly wasteful federal government, promising to root out problematic spending, employees and programs.

Democrats have flipped the script this week, extolling the virtues of the government and Hillary Clinton’s ability to lead it.

On Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton praised his wife as a “natural leader” and “a good organizer.” He said that Republicans' persistent attacks on her character were rooted in their opposition to government -- and Hillary’s history of effectively reforming it.

“If you win elections on the theory that government is always bad and will mess up a two-car parade,” the 42nd president said, “a real change-maker represents a real threat.”

On Wednesday, retired Navy Rear Adm. John Hutson said the Democratic presidential nominee’s leadership skills would serve her well in all the responsibilities that come with occupying the White House.

“She is smart and steady,” Hutson said. “She has the experience, temperament, and spine to be a superb commander-in-chief.”

President Obama began his speech praising the government reforms in his own administration, noting new policies at the departments of Education and Veterans Affairs, as well as the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“We put policies in place to help students with loans; protect consumers from fraud; cut veteran homelessness almost in half,” Obama said. The president voiced his confidence in “pass[ing] the baton” to Clinton, saying he saw first hand her ability to handle the massive federal bureaucracy despite the pressures of the Oval Office.

“She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes -- what’s at stake for the working family, for the senior citizen, or the small business owner, for the soldier, for the veteran,” Obama said. “And even in the midst of crisis, she listens to people, and she keeps her cool and she treats everybody with respect.”

Madeleine Albright, who served as secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, said Hillary’s experience in her former role would serve well in the White House.

“When Hillary served as secretary of State, I watched her partner with President Obama to restore our country’s reputation around the world,” Albright said. She added, however, her original leadership prowess may have come from a different position: “We are both mothers and grandmothers, so I know where she got her management skills.”

Clinton’s running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., accepted the nomination to be the Democrat’s nominee for vice president, boasting of his own ability to run government. He said Virginia was ranked as the best managed in the country while he was governor, referencing a report from the Pew Center that gave the state an A minus -- topping the rankings with two other states.

Former NASA astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly took the stage to endorse Clinton, while two current members of the Obama cabinet -- Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack and Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez -- sat in Bill Clinton’s suite as Obama gave his address. Both Vilsack and Perez were reportedly finalists to be Clinton’s running mate, but were prohibited by the Obama administration from speaking at the DNC over Hatch Act concerns.

California Democratic Reps. Judy Chu and Ted Lieu both commended Clinton for the way she would treat the people in government.

“On making sure we have a diverse federal government, she gets it,” Chu said. “We’re with Hillary because she will appoint an administration that looks like America.”

Lieu said Clinton would take care of those in uniform.

“I support Hillary Clinton because she’ll fight for our military personnel, veterans, and families,” Lieu said. “She will make sure that those who risked their lives for our country get the health care and the resources that they need.”

Clinton will accept the Democratic nomination in an address Thursday night. 

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