Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary's Speech

Hillary did what she needed to do.


It was a good speech, well-delivered, and with an appropriate amount of passion. As a liberal Democrat concerned with party unity, I would say that she put my fears and worries to rest; but I have to say that I am still very, very glad that Obama didn't pick her as his VP. Much too narcissistic. [Really, that opening homage montage of Hillary was way over the top. And the sad part of it is that I can envision this sycophantic paean as something Hillary insisted upon herself as part of her "negotiations" with the Obama campaign.] For these 15 minutes, it was Hillary's convention, not Obama's.

For me, my gripe with her speech boils down to this: there were many moments in the speech when Hillary, speaking about all those things she supported and stood for with passion and conviction, could have at least said: "And Obama does, too." But, as far as I can tell, with perhaps the one exception of mentioning Obama's early organizing efforts in Chicago, she never went there. Yes, indeed, she said some moving and inspiring things. And I can see how many folks might have found themselves choked up listening to her. But then she just couldn't find it within herself to bring Obama into these moments and identify him with them, too. I kept thinking: "But Obama believes in these things, too! Would it be too difficult to associate him with them?" In many ways, I thought it was a great and moving speech, but also a selfish speech.

In short, I think (I hope) it was good enough in terms of what it had to accomplish: to swing her angry, disgruntled supporters back into the fold. But I worry.

[ASIDE: Now, for those who might say that Hillary's speech upstaged Obama and made him look like a sore sport and foolish for not selecting her as his VP, I would argue just the opposite. Instead of making it look like Obama made a mistake in not selecting her as his VP, I think it made Obama look smart for letting her stroke her (and her supporters') own, wounded egos while keeping her at a respectful distance.]

EXTRA: For what it's worth, I think the best quip of the evening came from Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer:

We simply can't drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain's backyards, including the ones he can't even remember.


Schroeder said...

Schweitzer was great. Hillary was a good soldier. She fell on her sword with a smile. Bill looked completely sychophantic. I have a feeling about this that I haven't had since Bill Clinton won in '92, but I'm crossing my fingers.

Scott Harney said...

My wife and I were watching it thinking the same thing. "It's still all about me". Wife muttered "okay. you need to let it go now." I think Hillary made quite the opposite case for picking her as veep. It would never have worked.