Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hillary Fully With The Program

Well, shut my mouth. Hillary did good in her concession speech today. I had lots to do, with number two cost unit's graduation and number one's birthday; when I returned, Big Brown had not done his thing, but Hillary had given an inspired talk.

Regular readers here and listeners on Left Ahead! know that I've been impatient to see Obama and McCain mix it up. I don't have to list all the reasons George Bush the Lesser's administration has crippled America. As Hillary's impending loss became more and more inevitable, I criticized her for maybe or likely harming the main effort.

I rather doubt she'd care a whit that yet another blogger praises her now. I'm happy to do so anyway.

Today's speech was one of her best, ever, on any topic. She showed the wit, graciousness and clarity of purpose largely absent from political orations. Her overt and unmodified calls for support for Obama to defeat the Republicans was spot on and unambiguous. She likely turned a lot of unhappy supporters in the necessary direction.

The weakest part was the first two minutes. She bragged on herself, as Southerners say. That's understandable too. Her ego is smaller than her husband's, but not by much. Yet, even there, she ended up iterating the big, progressive goals that only stand a chance with a Democratic prez and a more Democratic Congress. This should be one of those twice-a-century shots at progressive reform, one in which we can join her, as she put it, "on the front lines of democracy, fighting for the future."

Her speech's very high highlights included:
  • Flat out admission of defeat -- "...I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him. And I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me."
  • Lauding the winner -- as Obama has for for some time for her, she laid out his virtues, like "strength and determination, his grace and his grit."
  • Coupling herself in the battle with Obama -- "...this optimism that Senator Obama and I share and that has inspired so many millions of our supporters to make their voices heard. So today I am standing with Senator Obama to say: Yes, we can!"
  • Pointing to common ideology to justify support -- she restated her platform, but not egotistically. She reminded the audience of the wide range of common goals she and Obama share. That could make a transition to supporting him much easier.
She failed in only one major aspect in the speech. When people ask me or comment on one of my blogs to the effect of "You Obama supporters won. What else could you want?" Identifying that aspect and answering that question seems obvious. She absolutely should have said she was releasing her delegates. She didn't have to tell them to vote for Obama at the convention, but freeing them would have shown the conviction of her call "to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me."

It took her quite awhile, and a couple of tries, to get around to conceding. She may get to the delegate thingummy before August.

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Bill Baar said...

She sent the super delegates a message explaining when she said during her forty years of working in politics, there were ten presidential elections. Democrats won three of those and two of those wins were Bill's.

Democrat goof with Obama and lose again, it's going to be a very hard time for the party. (An Obama win could be even harder...).

Anyways, I thought that was a very telling point she made, and after all, the super delegates can still change their minds. This is very much a trial candidacy for Obama at the moment. Polls dive, he makes more gaffes, you'll see Democrats reconsider.

massmarrier said...

Thanks for the laugh.