the clintons were just introduced over the public address system, and they're making their way through the crowd. the most interesting thing so far is that the announcer didn't introduce hillary as "the next president of the united states" as terry mcauliff did on tuesday night, when it was painfully clear she was not going to be.
she looks fantastic. she's wearing black. symbolic? the death of her campaign? the entire clinton family, bill, hillary, chelsea, and hillary's mother. they won't let her start. the crowd is cheering and cheering her. she's tried five, six times now, in earnest, to begin her speech. she's gonna cry. if she isn't already.
"this isn't exactly the party i planned but i sure like the company."
"thanks for the homemade signs. thanks for knocking on doors. thanks for arguing with your friends and neighbors."
one has to think, if this was the hillary clinton we'd all seen six months ago, we might not be having this event today. she seems proud, but sincere. the smile is genuine. she looks like a seasoned, albeit somewhat weathered, strong leader.
cnn reporter candy crowely has said several times, when you talk to people coming out of a barack obama campaign event, they say "he's inspired me, he gives me hope." people coming out of a hillary clinton campaign event say "she is just so, so smart."
she just said "gay and straight" in a list of groups who stood with her throughout the campaign. every time a politician includes gays and lesbians in a speech (in a positive way) it gives me hope. you can think that's silly, but it's true. imagine if she said "thank you to all the middle age, white men who voted for me." (wait...she did say that at one point, didn't she?)
"the way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals...is to take all our energy and elect barack obama the next president of the united states."
she is very, very strong here.
"today as i suspend my campaign, i congratulate him, and endorse him, and throw my full support behind him."
she is now, seemingly, trying to control the small part of the crowd booing obama's name, as a few of them seemed to be doing. and it's working. each time she comes around to the line "and that is why we must elect barack obama," there is less booing and more cheering.
she is much better at this than she used to be. she's much more comfortable, more passionate.
gay rights. she said it again. hope.
she smiles when she talks about herself.
"democrats have won three out of the last ten presidential elections. and the man who won two of those elections is with us today. " she smiles, and applauds him. it's a genuine, dear moment.
"...stretch the boundaries of the possible."
YES WE CAN. she uses obama's phrase. and she's said this at least three, maybe four times: "we need to elect barack obama our next president." and she's said it strongly. forcefully.
again: "we must help elect barack obama our president." she's turning it into a catch phrase. hoping, i think, that the crowd joins with her. do they? they haven't yet. but the booing has stopped and now, when she mentions obama, there is nothing but cheers.
she now almost seems to be chastising the crowd. will we go forward together? or will we stall and slip backward?
if she's auditioning for the vice presidency, she's good. i can't imagine it, though. she would far better serve this country elsewhere. back in the senate. governor of new york.
women. she's leading the women's cause. she's fucking tough. look at her. she is not smiling anymore. this is the woman who could have been president, sitting across from world leaders.
she just pulled out the phrase "my friends." i love her for co-opting john mccain AND barack obama (one in a sly way, one in a smart way.)
"always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in."
"don't go there..."
...she tells her staunchest supporters. if she hasn't brought them along to the obama campaign through this speech, i'm not sure what else she could do.
she has not once mentioned bush or mccain. not once. pundit after pundit said she would bask in the glory of her campaign and take potshots at bush and mccain. and she's stayed completely positive and above board and on message. for that, for her amazing campaign, and for this stirring, stunning exit, she deserves a heap of credit. i'm proud of her, and again, proud to be a democrat.