Another Gift From the Big Dog

So anyone who watched the 2012 Democratic National Convention is probably aware that former president Bill Clinton did the best job of anyone during the entire campaign to articulate the case for Barack Obama’s re-election. He also campaigned where and when he was asked.

But turns out he performed another important service to the president and his party, without even knowing it, per this report at HuffPost from Jason Cherkis:

The man, who tended bar for a company that catered to a high-end clientele, had previously worked at a fundraiser at a home where Clinton spoke. After Clinton addressed guests, the man recalled, the former president came back to the kitchen and thanked the staff, the waiters, the bartenders, the busboys, and everyone else involved in putting the event together. He shook hands, took photos, signed autographs, and praised the meal — all characteristic of the former president.

When the bartender learned he would be working at Romney’s fundraiser, his first thought was to bring his camera, in case he had a chance to get a photo with the presidential candidate.

Romney, of course, did not speak to any of the staff, bussers or waiters. He was late to the event, and rushed out. He told his dinner guests that the event was off the record, but never bothered to repeat the admonition to the people working there.

One of them had brought along a Canon camera. He set it on the bar and hit the record button.

This was, of course, the famous “47 percent” speech, and the bartender (Scott Prouty) who filmed it in hopes that Romney might be a bit like Clinton finally revealed himself on MSNBC last night. When he realized what he had, he made the video available, via James Carter, to Mother Jones‘ David Corn, and the rest is history.

As for Clinton, sometimes being nice is a reward in itself. But now and then it bears good and exotic fruit.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.