Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Unity

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THE NIGHT belonged to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. In her much-anticipated headline speech, she did what she had to do, and did it well.

But because she has earned so much mistrust among so many people, within minutes, people in the auditorium and across the blogosphere were picking apart her words, suggesting that she didn't go far enough to repudiate her own statements during the campaign that Barack Obama isn't ready to be President. I disagree.

"Barack Obama is my candidate and he must be our President."

I guess I'm not seeing how this isn't a strong enough statement that she believes Barack is ready to be President.

"The future of our nation and the health and safety of our children hangs in the balance if Barack isn't elected president."

If you were not convinced with her delivery, so be it. But the words she delivered were unequivocal.

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"No way. No how. No McCain."

I expect that to be used in an ad that appears during the Republican National Convention next week.

"With a platform like that, it makes sense that John McCain will appear with George Bush in the Twin Cities next week because these days, it's hard to tell them apart."

Roaring applause and raucous laughter.

The theater of it all was very good.

"Were you just in this for me?"

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She gave Michelle Obama her props, praised her speech the night before, and said she would be a great First Lady. First time I heard her even acknowledge Barack's remarkable, compassionate wife.

Hillary is meeting with her delegates at lunch today where she's expected to encourage them all to vote for Barack in the abbreviated roll call vote this afternoon.

I've now spoken with more than 100 Hillary delegates face-to-face. Three quarters of them are voting for Barack in the roll call. She's expected to release her delegates from the New York delegation.

John McCain's campaign chimed in with a silly press release that nitpicked what she didn't say instead of focusing on what she did say. Even with my mistrust of many things Clinton, I'm just not going to get all riled up by something that came out of the McCain campaign. The lying, deceptive, shady McCain campaign.

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The energy on the convention floor simply cannot be felt on television.

Despite my pre-convention anxiety, I'm beginning to believe there will be no shenanigans today.

We shall see.

This convention is changing me. It's no longer about my personal feelings for Hillary or the campaign she ran.

It's about winning.

We can't take any votes for granted. If her diehards are more likely to vote for Barack because his supporters stop openly trashing her, then Barack's supporters need to stop openly trashing her.

This election is too important. And I want to win.

If I can't say anything good about Hillary, then I'm not going to say anything at all.

She hit a homerun when she invoked the words of Harriet Tubman, the "Black Moses."

I even waved a big white Hillary sign on cue. And then those big unity placards with OBAMA emblazoned on some, HILLARY on others.

You could almost feel the unity in the place. Almost feel the sweet embrace of victory.

We need to win.

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Crossposted to Kennebec Journal

6 comments:

Jop said...

Great post, great pictures from a regular person's view in the hall!
The energy in the hall did come through the TV I have to say; If you all can be so enthusiastic about the one who lost the primary, it will be a good thing the winner of the primary (and the 44th President of the USA) will speak outdoors, because the roof of the Pepsi center will be blown off by the energy of all you!

Elize said...

Thank you for being such a gifted writer, you make it possible for me as a reader to almost FEEL the energy, the enthousiasm, the positive energy from Denver.

oddman said...

It's very enjoyable reading of your impressions, etc from an outsiders' POV. Glad you're enjoying it all, and looks like you have some work to do yourself there, keep on talking to those Hillary supporters - your words are powerful things, Craig, and the tools to get what you desire. Thanks for sharing this.

oddman said...

BTW, miss your tennis commentary, but this is far more important, I know.

LexusOakland said...

Beautifully done, Craig. I most liked your acknowledgement that participation in the convention "is changing me." You're right, it's about winning. There is too much at stake not to win. It's time out for the purists who criticize Barack for this or for that "concession," and for Hillary supporters who confuse the woman with the issues. WE NEED TO WIN! I have grandchildren, and sometimes I awake in the night, fearful of what might happen to them. I strongly believe this is our last chance... We have come too close to the edge and madmen have taken charge. We cannot lose this election. Keep on with your message, Craig. So glad you're there!

rikyrah said...

thank you, craig. I know how worried you were. reading these first accounts from you have made me appreciate ' the process' more, because I know your journey to get there. You've been a witness to HISTORY..no other way to say it, and it's so humbling. so humbling.