Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary in Denver: It's Still About Her

Hillary Clinton spoke for maybe 22 minutes tonight. She started focusing on Barack Obama at about minute 14. Before then, it was all about her. Not to mention that rockstar ode-to-the-nominee video that preceded the speech...about her.

The pronoun sequence shows her priorities. She began with a long sequence of "I ran for President so that...Then came "We want to fight for...Then, finally, "Barack Obama will...

She spoke as powerfully as she ever has; she has bought into/grown into her "I'm a fighter" identity and to a degree transferred it to the party: Democrats fight for those who have been forgotten. She expertly tied McCain to Bush (great line: fitting they'll be together in the Twin Cities, since these days they're awfully hard to tell apart). She effectively cataloged key Democratic priorities.

But her support for Obama was almost generic: elect a Democrat. About the only personal tribute was to his early-life work as an organizer. The rest was he'll do what any Dem ought to do -- pass universal healthcare, bring troops home with honor, repair our diplomatic relations. She did assert that he can do these things - that was as warm as it got. Her pitch directly to her own "bitter" supporters was explicitly: it's impossible to accomplish your goals if we don't put "a Democrat" in the White House.

Hillary is trying to thread a needle--appear in good faith to offer full support to Obama, and leave the impression that the Democrats nominated the wrong candidate.

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