Oh, I tend to agree.
I just don't think Obama had a lot of attractive options at his disposal.
The Hillary contingent is loud and pissed off. It's much different from Gore shutting out Bill and Hillary in 2000 -- neither Bill not Hillary were the close runners-up in the nominating contest.
And BOTH are big stories in a way that they weren't in 2000. You have to have the last Democratic president speak -- they did in 2000, 2004, and this year. And it would have been way too ham-handed to shut out Hillary -- close runner-up in the nomination contest -- completely.
So that means that both have to speak, pretty much. Shutting them both down would have been a Big Thing and would have created its own drama.
I think having Hillary speak on the anniversary of women's suffrage makes sense.
All that really leaves is, have Bill on the same night or not? Dunno why they made the decision to have them on different nights, probably something to do with time slots. Maybe this was a bad idea, not sure, details are lacking.
But I don't think "back-to-back" means anything in particular -- it makes a lot of sense that they both have slots, and they're put in the middle. Not opening day (25th), not the finale (28th). Hillary on the 26th, Bill on the 27th.
A-ha, just found this about Bill's time slot:
Mark Ambinder wrote:
I hear that Clinton has been asked to speak between 9 pm and 10 pm ET. Primetime -- sort of. Remember that the television networks will broadcast only the 10pm-11pm hour live, leaving the other two hours of prime time to the cable nets...
On Wednesday, the 10-11pm hour is reserved for two events: putting the candidate's name over the top and the vice presidential candidate's speech.
So while Clinton _would_ speak in prime time, he wouldn't be live on network television, and at most, the networks would briefly excerpt his speech before they turned to live events.