It’s 3:43 a.m. and I want to give my brief reflections on Senator Clinton’s historic address before I turn on CNN and glance at the New York Times, and be told how she didn’t go far enough and blah blah mainstream press bizarre focus on dissension blah.
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Here in Denver, I am with the Maryland Delegation that is watching the festivities from the Maryland Watch Party at the Renaissance Hotel. We were watching on the big screens and as the cameras panned the massive audience there was much Hillary love in the house. There were Hillary banners, funny little (and big) hats, buttons, streamers and those long stick things that are at every convention being enthusiastically raised. The crowd that was just waiting for her to speak history.
The atmosphere on Monday evening seemed one of excitement and deep emotion with the speeches of Senator Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama, but the atmosphere Tuesday night was electric. You could feel the anticipation.
We also saw that President Bill Clinton is still a superstar in the Democratic world. Sitting next to a young African American man, he smiled easily and clapped often. When he arrived in the arena the audience went wild and the cameras seemed to be focused all on him, even though someone else was speaking.
Tonight, Bill speaks and the world will be listening. He is expected to sound the same note of healing and reconciliation. Man, after such a divisive primary season, I’m so ready for it. Bring it on.
I was pleasantly surprised by the rousing and unifying comments made by Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana who spoke directly before Hillary. We just may have witnessed a future presidential candidate?
Oh yes, Dennis Kuchinich gave a serious wakeup call in his ready for primetime speech to the delegates earlier in the evening. This unimposing looking man is one compelling speaker. The crowd went crazy when he said, "Up with peace! Up with prosperity! Up with the Democratic Party! Up with Obama!," he shouted, pumping his arms. "Wake up America!" Durn, he was good. You can check out his comments here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv0smG7ptcM
Last night Hillary’s speech was not just for Barack Obama, but it was for Senator Clinton as well.
This was the speech of her life, and she delivered it with gusto, passion and most of all – I believed her. I believed her when she enthusiastically stated, “"Barack Obama is my candidate.” "And he must be our president.” She also did not hold back on her words and went there when she said that even though Senator John McCain is her colleague and friend, this country cannot accept another four years of the same ole same ole. "No way," Clinton said. "No how. No McCain."
As I stated last night in the live blog, this was a Hillary I don’t think I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She was passionate. She meant what she said and she said what she meant. She evoked the spirit of Harriet Tubman when she urged Democrats in the face of adversity to “Keep Going!”
Hillary was a class act who showed humility by rallying her supporters around Barack Obama.
Did it close the deal? Who knows?
There will always be folks who are just completely, totally, and entrenchly (I know that’s not a real word, but you know what I mean) be angry at the outcome of the primary. So much of their hearts, minds and hopes were invested in Senator Clinton’s historic candidacy. We can deeply respect that, but please stop.
There is so much at stake here.
Please remember how hard we fought for women to keep the government out of making choices on what we can do with our bodies. Please remember all of those women who died so young in back alley abortions gone wrong. Please remember that we are just one Supreme Court Justice away from being stuck with a generation long deeply conservative Court who is ready, willing and able to make scary ideologically based decisions that become the law of the land.
This in itself trumps all the understandable frustrations.
If you value reproductive justice and so much much more, you will not stay home on Election Day. You will not rally for the other side. Of course the two parties have so many just plain bad similarities, but the differences are glaring, and that is what counts.
I hope Clinton’s speech was a cathartic moment for her supporters and a healing moment for the Democratic Party. She urged her supporters by saying, "Whether you voted for me or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We’re on the same team and none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines."
When referring to next week’s Republican convention she held back no punches, "It makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together in the Twin Cities because these days they are awfully hard to tell apart."
Can we move forward now? Will the mainstream media let us? Let’s all promise to think for ourselves.
Republicans are looking for every opportunity here in Denver to exploit the divisions and perceived divisions of the Democrats. Last night when I turned on the TV, I saw the one billionth campaign commercial sponsored by the Republican National Committee. On the screen was a grainy Hillary Clinton making a comment stated during the primary season that “Senator John McCain has a lifetime of experience. I have a lifetime of experience, and Barack Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.” Ouch. It ended with saying something like, “Was she right?”
Come on folks, let’s get to uniting and full speed ahead!
Tonight’s theme for the third day of the convention "Securing America’s Future."