Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary's Speech - Home Run or Deep Fly Out?

For the most part, Hillary's speech last night at the DNC has won praise. And, in my mind, deservedly so, but no one pays to hear what I think. So here are some other points of view.

First, you can read the speech here, or watch it here.

Michael A. Cohen, writing at The New York Times, loved it:
“Know your audience.” These are the first words drilled into the head of any budding speechwriter. Figure out who your audience is, then draft a set of remarks directly tailored to them. Last night Hillary Clinton offered all the young scribes out there a clinic in precisely how it is done. Speaking directly to her millions of former supporters who remain hesitant about voting for Barack Obama, her message was clear and unambiguous: get over it and get on board the Obama bandwagon.

Last night’s address at the Pepsi Center was not only the most eagerly anticipated speech of the convention so far, but it was the most important. With Mr. Obama still showing weakness among some Democratic voters, he desperately needed a helping hand from Mrs. Clinton in ensuring their support. Anything less than an emphatic endorsement of his candidacy would have been seen by the pundit crowd as a sign of continued tension in Democratic ranks and might have been used as an excuse by committed Clinton supporters to stay home on Election Day. In the end, it’s hard to imagine Mr. Obama asking for much more then he received last night.

Faux News thinks things are still problematic for the Dems, but then they work for the GOP, so whatever they say has a clear bias.

Clinton delegates praised her speech, calling it “amazing” and “outstanding,” yet several have said they won’t budge until she gives them the signal, and it should come at the end of the first roll call.

“If we don’t have an official roll call vote state-by-state, it is going to reopen a wound,” said Sonja Jaquez Lewis, a Clinton delegate from Boulder County in Colorado.

Georgia delegate Beverly Leaphart said she plans to vote for Clinton until she is released. She said other delegates told her Wednesday morning that Clinton didn’t do enough to unify the party.

CBS News, who had Mitt Romney commenting on Hillary's speech (!?) last night, this morning ran a piece suggesting that the words from her mouth said one thing, but her body language said something else.
Clinton's non-verbals, he says, were revealing. "What we wanted to see was a Churchillian speech, something that would move her candidate to cross that magic fence. And she delivered a speech, but the gestures -- the non-verbals that give us the emotion -- really weren't there." Navarro later added, "I think her message was supposed to be, 'Hey, go with me and let's vote for Barack.' There should have been a lot more emotive displays, and we just simply did not see that."
And of couse, someone had to comment on her clothes:

OK, I'll bite: What was up with Hillary Clinton's bright orange pantsuit, the one she wore before her well-received but not overwhelmingly great speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention?

She looked like a glowing pumpkin.

Yeah, I didn't even notice while watching the speech.

As far as I am concerned, this was the key passage, which defines why this independent (me) is voting for Obama:

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?

We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.

This won't be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat in the White House.

We need to elect Barack Obama because we need a President who understands that America can't compete in a global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators, while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas. We need a President who understands that we can't solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in new technologies that will build a green economy.

We need a President who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.

Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down. He knows government must be about "We the people" not "We the favored few."

Yep. That is exactly what she needed to say -- an inside the park home run.

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