“No way. No how. No McCain. Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our President.”
– Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democratic National Convention
I think I have to officially denounce my trademarked title of “Hillspawn” for Sen. Hillary Clinton. The wonders never cease.
I must admit that I was extremely impressed with her at day two of the DNC. I kept thinking in the back of mind that she would use this platform as her final chance to stick it to Obama one last time. Watching the thousands of Hillary signs fly up as she made her way to the stage only got me more nervous. But as she started to speak and openly declared to the world that Obama was “her candidate”, those fears were immediately quelled. Then, out of nowhere, Clinton brilliantly got to the heart of the matter with her supporters (yes: I used the word “brilliant”). Said the senator from New York:
“I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?”
I was floored. For the first time in a long while, Hillary and I were literally on the same page at the same time. Whether or not she was genuine, I can’t say for sure. But what I do know is that she did say it; and it appeared to be absent of her signature insidiousness. Her remarks were straight and to the point (are you taking notes Obama?). To be able to come so close to securing the nomination only to give it up and urge others to do the same is a big and bold move. For that, she’s regained lots of my respect. Now, getting it all back will take a little more work. But she’s definitely on the right track.
If there were any complaints to be found, Clinton spent more time with anecdotes and recapping her time on the campaign than she did by actually telling people who Obama was. It’s no secret that many people – including Clinton supporters – don’t know much about him and made no bones about expressing that he doesn’t adequately define himself. She could have very well used this platform to offer more definition about Obama. At least, this is what the commentators and pundits are saying. But I maintain that this is not Clinton’s job; nor would I expect it to be. If anything, the only issue I would expect Hillary (and for that, Joe Biden) to address is how they transitioned from being so anti-Obama to being so pro-Obama. The folks on the right are having a ball with pointing out how two of Obama’s closest campaign mates in Biden and Clinton both have recorded statements blowing Obama out of the water. Those comments, along with the sudden reversal of support, should have been clarified more.
But as far as defining Obama goes, that’s not her job. That’s Obama’s job. That’s why I joined the millions of other supporters who financially contributed to his campaign. To be frank, I feel like Obama has been wasting my money by putting on a lousy display so far (is it too late to demand a refund?). In a campaign that should have been a walk in the park, Obama has his supporters biting their nails to the nub, praying for November to finally get here. In fact, I just read that McCain is actually now up in the polls. It’s for this reason why I think a person like Clinton – as polarizing and disliked as she was by many – would have been a far better choice for VP.
There, I said it.
So to my Hillary readers: Hillary has made amends for her past deeds. I have made amends for my past deeds. Now it’s your turn.