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1:01 PM, Sep 6, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants last night, in the first game of the NFL season.  Like many millions of fans, I chose to watch the game instead of former President Clinton's speech. Having seen plenty of Clinton speeches, I knew his moves and was pretty confident that Tony Romo and Eli Manning would put on a better show than this:

“Is the president satisfied? Of course not, but are we better off than we were when he took office?” Mr. Clinton said, pausing as the crowd roared in approval. He added, “The answer is yes.”

Clinton, of course, had to do that one. Just like every NFL offense has to run a draw now and then to keep the defense honest. To fans, the interesting part is how well a team runs the draw and, according to almost all accounts – not just the predictable one from the Times – Clinton delivered his required line very well. No surprise. We all knew he could give a good speech, not least because he likes doing it so much that he often does not know when to quit. Or does, perhaps, but can't quite make himself do it. He has never been famous, that way, for discipline or self-control.

And, then, by watching the game, one was spared this little item:

"Democracy does not have to be a blood sport,” Mr. Clinton said. “It can be an honorable enterprise.”

Ah, yes. Spoken to the foot soldiers in a scorched-earth campaign that has already labeled the opposition candidate a felon, said he is responsible for causing a woman (of course) to die of cancer, and is busily smearing anyone it doesn't like as a Nazi. But, then, this call to civility was issued by a man who was disbarred from practicing law because he actually was guilty of the crime of perjury and, also, a lot more to include ... oh, never mind.

Back to the game.  Romo had a great night and the Giants running game never got on track (as they say) and one feels as though he has never been more ready for some football and grateful to God (about whom Charlotte is undecided) for the existence of the NFL.

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