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Clinton speech tells sisterhood keep going for Obama

| 7 Comments


DENVER--Fantastic. Could not have been better. Hillary Rodham Clinton laid out the case to vote for Barack Obama better than he does himself. Anyone who faults Clinton for not giving it her all to unify the party behind Obama didn't watch her Democratic convention speech on Tuesday night.

She did a lot of what Obama needs to do: specify what this change will exactly be about.

Clinton strode on stage in an orange pantsuit after being introduced by daughter Chelsea, who said because of her mother's historic quest to be the first female president, there are "18 million cracks" in the glass ceiling, a reference to the votes Clinton won in the hotly contested Democratic primary Obama narrowly won.

"To my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits," said Clinton. "You never gave in and you never gave up," a phrase Clinton used to describe herself in explaining why she allowed the primary to extend into extra innings even after it was clear it was almost a mathematical impossibility for her to beat Obama.

During the weeks leading up to the convention here--where Obama will accept the nomination on Thursday night--the Obama and Clinton camps at the very top levels unified and tried to move on. Obama's team hired Clinton staffers, high roller Clinton donors have been courted by Obama and Obama himself made calls to President Clinton.

Clinton and Michelle Obama each appeared at an Emily's List gathering this afternoon; Emily's List endorsed Clinton as soon as her presidential race was official. Before either woman spoke they met backstage to talk. Chelsea was there too.

At the rank and file level, however, especially with female Clinton diehards, the backbone of her political base, the hurt has been deep and the healing incomplete. As fate has it, her keynote came on the 88th anniversary of women getting the right to vote.


Clinton herself talked about her wounded backers needing catharsis as her advisors negotiated details with their Obama counterparts about her prime time speech and a roll call that will take place Wednesday night where her name will be placed in nomination--as will Joe Biden, Obama's running mate who folded his 2008 presidential bid in January.


One of her most powerful arguments was when she asked her supporters why they were in this, intended to make people think twice about defecting to Republican John McCain, or not voting at all.

"I want you to ask yourselves, were you in this campaign just for me," or for some greater cause, as she went on to plug Obama and praise Michelle.

The signs in the hall delegates were waving transitioned from white Hillary cards with her campaign website, to unity signs. President Clinton mouthed "I love you" as he watched.

It's clear now that Clinton will be used to attack John McCain, even as McCain is using her own words in ads--slamming Obama as not ready to lead. "No way. No how. No McCain.

The crowd drowned out her words when she spoke of the GOP convention next week. "It makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart."

Most of all, her parting prayer was to move on and elect Obama as president.

"In America,' said Clinton, You always keep going. We're Americans. We're not big on quitting."

7 Comments

Awesome, Hill! You have my vote in 2012 and my appreciation & affection forever!!!

Ethel Steadman---she wasn't asking for your vote in 2012, she was asking for your vote for Obama in 2008.

Hillary was incredibile! And I'll be voting for her in 2012!

As an early Obama supporter (and independent), I was very impressed with Senator Hillary Clinton's speech. She showed a level of vision, commitment to this country that completly eclipsed the petty disputes between Obama/Clinton in the primaries.

No longer can repugnant wing of the Replican party replay Obama/Clinton bashing with any degree of credibility.

With this new clarity and passion for our country, Senator Clinton will enjoy a legacy and influence with a much broader base than the 18 million suppporters she already had. I am ready to pay attention to her again.

YOU MEANT 2016!

SISTERS FOR HILLARY, SHE SAYS KEEP GOING AND
VOTE FOR OBAMA, WE NEED YOU GUYS, MCCAIN IS ON
THE RUN!

SISTERS FOR HILLARY, DON'T FALL FOR JOHN MCCAIN'S
LATEST TRICK, HE JUST DISRESPECTED YOUR VOTE!
PLEASE CONSIDER OBAMA AND BIDEN BIG TIME, MCCAIN
IS A TRICKSTER, AND YOU ARE TO BE RESPECTED, NOT
DISRESPECTED, THESE GUYS ARE TRYING TO PLAY ON
YOUR EMOTIONS, PLEASE TEACH THEM A LESSON AND
HELP RESTORE AMERICA, HILLARY IS IN LINE FOR A
GREAT CABINET POST, IT WON'T HAPPEN IF MCCAIN
GETS IN OFFICE!
NICE TRY JOHN BUT HILLARY'S SISTERHOOD ARE GREAT
INDIVIDUAL'S, THEY AREN'T LADIES TO PLAY GAMES
WITH!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 26, 2008 11:17 PM.

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