Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Last night was perhaps one of the most important speeches of this presidential election and it wasn't given by any of the people who will actually be elected to an office this fall. Hillary Clinton took the stage at a little past 10:30PM EST and although many believed she would play the good soldier, her actual mission was much more difficult than giving a simple speech supporting Obama. Her job was to convince all of her die heart supporters who, for some irrational reason, have come to the conclusion that since Hillary didn't get the nomination, John McCain would be a better choice than Obama. At first, such a claim seems so far fetched that it must be made up drama by the media networks, but alas it was not. Many Hillary supporters have openly said that they may or even would not support Obama and may even cross party lines to vote for McCain. During the brief respite between the end of the Democratic Primary in June till the Democratic Convention last night, Hillary has given several speeches in support of Obama, but none were heartfelt and always felt fake. All of that ended last night. 

Hillary took the stage and delivered what was probably the best speech of her political career. It not only made it clear that she strongly supported Obama, but that if any of her supporters did not do the same they were not only disappointing her, but themselves and squandering what they had all worked so hard for in the last year. She knows that on the vast majority of issues she and Obama are essentially the same candidate. Her main task was getting her supporters to finally see through their anger over the loss to this simple truth. 

Hillary's speech was easily divided into three parts. Part 1 was--here I am and I support Obama. Part 2 was--thank you as my supporters and all the hard work you have done. Part 3 was--deal with the fact that we lost and get in gear behind our candidate. I have to admit that in parts of the speech it felt like a school teacher reprimanding her star students for acting arrogant and reckless, but it was also clear that the message got across. Hillary clearly took the high road and may have just saved the Democratic party from the implosion that it was heading towards. After last night's speech no Hillary supporter can stand up and say "For Hillary I am not going to support Obama". Perhaps the strongest part of her speech was when she used simple logic. She point blank told her supporters, we may not like that we loss, but when it comes to living the next four years can we allow McCain to be president? Will that help you? Will that make things better? So much of the bad feelings between Hillary supporters and Obama has been over the loss of the primary elections and not the future. Last night Hillary turned that around and essentially put the past behind her. She cut down any leg her supporters could stand on when claiming they didn't support Obama and showed them that their current behavior was unacceptable and had to change. I think that her speech last night not only saved the Democratic party, but also have won her a lot of respect and support.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hillary is a remarkable woman and she has poven it many times. How unfortunate the Republicans couldn't offer up as high-class a VP pick of her caliber.