Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary Clinton's DNC speech

What did you all think of Hillary's speech at the Democratic Convention last night? Who watched, who didn't? Speak up!

I hardly know what to think about the whole thing. My initial reaction is that the entire convention so far has been decidedly lackluster. Polls are down. It just looks haphazard... which is not a good thing to communicate to the voters. I watched four different networks last night, and came away with the same conclusion.

Roger Simon, at Politico, writes:

At her speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, Hillary said the right things. Nobody could accuse her of going overboard, but she said the right things.

“Barack Obama is my candidate,” she said. “And he must be our president.”

Her daughter introduced her on stage as “my hero” and her husband cheered her from the balcony. But she directed many of her remarks to her other die-hard supporters.

“To my supporters, my champions — my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits — from the bottom of my heart: Thank you,” she said. “You never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.”

It was history. Of a sort. She showed that a woman could win the nomination. But she did not win the nomination. And the guy who did made some history, too.

She is due respect nonetheless. But there is a point when a demand for respect turns into an aura of entitlement. And some have been acting as if it were preordained that Clinton would win the Democratic nomination this year — she was the candidate of inevitability, after all — and that somehow Barack Obama stole it from her.

True, if it had been a normal presidential year, Clinton would have been the nominee. She certainly was no worse a candidate than Mike Dukakis, John Kerry or Al Gore, all of whom won their party’s nod.

But it was not an ordinary presidential year. Clinton came up against a magnetic campaigner with a compelling message — change — and with a staff that was prepared to win a drawn-out, deep in-the-trenches battle for delegates.

And the hard truth is that, while Hillary became a first-rate campaigner in the end, she put together a second-rate campaign. And this was not a year when second rate was going to do.
As I mentioned previously, I am guest-blogging at FEMINISTE, where there is presently an open thread on the conventions, particularly discussing Hillary Clinton and Michele Obama. Polerin writes:
Michelle’s speech was smooth but left me pretty much untouched because, as Cara said, it was a “see, we’re an all-american family, too!” effort. It was strong and well delivered, but was far more focused on humanizing the Obama’s than on politics or what she personally cares about. It is sad that they have to spend so much time breaking down the wall of otherness that has been erected around them by rumor and fear, but I understand they do.
Planet Janet replies:
It’s too bad there’s so many groups springing up for Hillary voters that won’t vote for Obama. I wonder how much of that is legitimate and how much is being stoked by Republicans. I know they’d love almost nothing more than for every Clinton voter to question voting for Obama this November.
Also, there are some great observations at Feministing. Supersarah says:
unfortunately, i think HRC could tattoo "i support Barack Obama" on her forehead, and the MSM would still describe her as "bitter" and "divisive"...
Vertigo says:
I have always been a Hillary Clinton fan and seeing her today... it was just brilliant. I hope all the negative talks about her not being a team-player and her dividing the party stops, because she really nailed this speech.

Also, she did something that has not been done in full force in this convention -- attack McCain!

The video intro got me teary eyes. :)
Crooks and Liars also has a fascinating thread about the speech. Many believe that Hillary MUST campaign for Obama to solidify and reinforce her message of last evening. Pissed-off Patricia (whose comments I always look forward to!) remarks:
Not to offend a single soul, but whoever said that, leading the democratic party was like herding cats, was so right. We come out of the gate and go in every direction. From the speech was useless to the speech was great. There is something good about that. We don’t fall in line, we seek our own path. The good thing is that most of the time we all arrive at the same spot eventually.

Now where is our attack cat/dog? We have Bill and Biden left before tomorrow night when Obama speaks. Bill could do some ripping tonight if his heart is in this thing. He could talk about himself and rip at the same time.
Most comments I have read agree that ATTACKING JOHN McCAIN IS CRUCIAL!!!

As Bill Asshole O'Reilly likes to ask: What say you?


annie said...

get john mccain, sez me!

i watched. she tried harder than i expected her to, and a lot of the typical defensiveness seemed to be gone.

bill had better do his job right tonight..and i believe that biden will go for the jugular. they sure as hell had better, because the repubs will be ruthless next week, as we know only too well.

eclexia said...

(depending on how I log in, I'm either polerin, erin, or eclexia.. don't mind me. or me. or me. I need to spend some time and get working so I can step off of livejournal and unify my identity :P)

I think this is the first time I've been quoted. Guess you know how I feel about it though. ;)

As to the overall convention feel, I'm waiting for Obama's speech to give an overall opinion of it. I'm far more interested in hearing his response to McCain's assertion that he is not ready/doesn't have foreign policy experience/etc etc etc. That is McCain's major attack right now, and if Barack puts it down hard with solid examples of what he is going to do and has done (** cough... senate foriegn affairs committee **) then it should put a fair dent in McCain's ability to continue on a negative tact.

virginia harris said...

I'm thrilled that Senator Clinton honored the suffragettes, including Harriet Tubman, who was as ardently involved in the suffrage struggle as she was in the Underground Railroad.

Thanks to the success of Harriet Tubman and other amazing suffragettes, women now have voices and choices!

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This is no boring history report.

Two beautiful and extremely powerful suffragettes -- Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt and two gorgeous presidential mistresses.

There are tons of heartache for these heroines on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, they WIN!

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Daisy said...

Eclexia, I fixed the link in the post--I wasn't sure if you were the same Eclexia or not. (Yes, unifying your multiple identities is important!)


JoJo said...

We watched her speech. She was a little to much with the "I" and "me" thing; she could have been more animated when urging her followers to vote for Obama.

Can someone tell me what was w/ Chris Matthews' bright yellow hair?

But Bill should get the Oscar for best performance. His tear filled eyes and mouthing, "I love you..I love you forever" as Hillary took the stage was a bit much.

Did anyone else want to vomit at those commercials advertising the $20 dollar coin w/ the numbers done as 9 and 11, and the twin towers?

ZenDenizen said...

She did a better job humanizing herself last night than during the crying episode in New Hampshire. I was pleased with the speech and can only hope that the majority of her supporters took it to heart.

John Powers said...

Virginia Harris said what really resonated with me. It was brilliant how Hillary connected the Seneca Falls Convention with Harriet Tubman's "Keep on going!" Tears welled up to hear the crowd acclaim: "Keep on going!" That part of the speech was rooted in American history, but people all over the world know the struggle and understand.

chaos said...

loved hrc'c closing

Daisy said...

Welcome Chaos! (always wanted to say that!) I just linked you too.

Lynn said...

Well both Clintons had a full plate of expectations and scrutiny at every word. They had to deliver what was asked of them, and they did.

I agree with the critics though who fear that the whole temple-set thing for Obama will be a bit much. I hope not. I hope it goes over well.

Hope you are having a good summer, by the way!

John Powers said...

I'm off topic here, so won't be at all offended if you remove this. Here goes: I'm 52 and a guy. So I don't "get" feminism is so many ways. But on the other hand feminism plays a very deep part in my experience. I cast my primary vote for Obama, but Hillary sure had my attention and respect.

Somewhat related to that I won't vote for McCain but I'm glad he's chosen Sarah Palin as a running mate. Her selection assures that women's issues will be front and center in this election. Naturally there's going to be a lot of stupid talk along with serious talk.

Palin is Pentecostal. This is a fascinating biographical detail to me. One of the reasons I love your blog Daisy is to read about Bob Jones University sometimes. One thing sure about the South is it's a beautiful window into the religious diversity of the nation. A core part of the cleavage between Pentecostalism and the rest of the Evangelical movement has to do with the subservience of women as religious doctrine. Pentecostals will have none of it. So I'm excited to see this dispute writ large.