Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

(x-posted from the great orange satan)

Hey everyone, I missed out on the fun here last night because I wanted to just tune everything out and listen to what our candidates had to say.

Contrary to what the entire traditional media is saying - and contrary to the outrage expressed by many who are upset that Clinton didn't outright conceed last night - I believe that last night Hillary did exactly what she needed to do.  Follow me beneath the flip and I'll explain....

I have been lucky enough to volunteer for four candidates for President.  However, in the 2004 cycle I became more deeply involved than ever.  Rather than simply registering voters and canvassing (not to take ANYTHING away from those who do), in August of 2002 I dove headfirst into the Dean campaign.  I participated in a popular group blog (Hi Jerome!), donated thousands of dollars, volunteered locally at fundraisers and rallies, spent a few days on the Sleepless Summer Tour, and travelled to Iowa several times to canvass. I gave untold numbers of hours to Team Dean, and I was there in the Val Air ballroom on the night of the infamous "scream".  

It is because I was in that room that I know that Hillary's done.  The situations - while seemingly very different - have a lot of similarities.

At both gatherings - Dean's in 04 and Hillary's last night - the rooms were packed with the hardest of hard core supporters.  Those were the people who'd put blood, sweat, tears, and money into a campaign only to see their efforts ultimately fall short.  Those were the people that believed when nobody else did.  Those are the people who put their lives on hold in order to work for a candidate they believed in.  And make no mistake, although they were stuffed in a basement with spotty cellphone and wireless access, Hillary's supporters knew before she hit the stage that Barack Obama had passed the delegate threshold and would be the Democratic nominee.

I know exactly what was going through their minds as they waited.  They were tired, sad, and disappointed.  They were asking themselves if there was more they could have done.  They were asking themselves if their candidate's failure was their own failure.  I know, because that's exactly what we were all asking ourselves in the Val Air ballroom in the hours before Howard took the stage.

And when he did, Howard came out and spoke not to the media, not to the nation that was watching, but to those of us in that room.  In hindsight people can criticise that decision - much as they're criticising Hillary today - but Howard did what he needed to do.  So did Hillary.  She had to come out and give those folks a reason to believe that their efforts were not in vain.  She had to show them her gratitude and most of all she had to lift their spirits.  Hillary is the leader of a movement (much like Dean was), and her supporters needed that pep talk.  They needed to go home last night with their heads held high and with the knowledge that they did all they could.  Hillary couldn't let them down, and she didn't.  She gave them what they needed.  And because of that I have confidence that together with Barack Obama, Hillary will do her best to bridge the chasm between the two camps and unite the party to defeat John McCain in the fall.

And much like Dean's Val Air appearance signalled the end of his campaign for President (even if it sputtered along for a few more months), Hillary's speech last night contained all the signals that her campaign was coming to an end.  Sure, she didn't come right out and conceed, but she will.  She didn't call Barack Obama the presumptive nominee, but in her heart she knows it's true.  She didn't urge her supporters to flock to Team Obama, but she will, most likely by the end of the week.  I don't expect her to drop today.  In fact, she gave herself an out on that by mentioning that today is her mother's birthday (Happy birthday Dorothy Rodham!).  But let's give her a few days and let's give her the space she needs to do what is right.  That's what Dean did, and it's what I strongly believe Hillary will do as well.

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, val air (all tags)

Comments

63 Comments

tips or TRs

tips if you're for unity, TRs if you're a "supporter".

;^)

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

The big difference between Dean & Clinton's speeches is that Clinton gave her speech on the day the presumptive Democratic nominee was crowned.    She could have given this campaign speech on Monday if her desire was to thank her supporters.  Instead she took a lot of media time away from Obama for no good reason.  

Also, she has had a few months to work through this loss.  She doesn't need any more time.  She lost this thing back in February.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-04 07:20AM | 0 recs
i don't disagree with some of your points

i agree that she lost a few months ago.  

but i also think that senator clinton isn't the one who needs to work through the loss.  i think her supporters do.  and that's why i think she gave THEM a speech last night.  she wasn't talking to us; she doesn't need us; we're team obama.  but she does need her supporters to believe that their efforts were not in vain, that they are appreciated, and that this isn't the end of the world.  

i mean really, imagine their disappointment for a moment.  put yourself in their shoes.  i have and i know what it feels like: it sucks!  so i think she was speaking to them and i'm ok with that.

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: i don't disagree with some of your points

If Clinton didn't realize she was speaking to all Democrats last night then she isn't as smart as I think she is.  It was a nationally televised speech broadcast live on every news channel.  She could have spoken to her supporters on Monday if that was her true goal.  Instead she chose to make a campaign speech the day the campaign was over.

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-04 07:36AM | 0 recs
that's ok

we can agree to disagree on that.  big tent and all. =)

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: that's ok

You got it.  Thanks for writing the diary.

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-04 07:40AM | 0 recs
and thank YOU

for your two cents. ;^)

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: and thank YOU

Very valid points by both of you. I agree that she could have (should have? debatable) given that meat and potatoes speech to her followers not on the occasion just before Barack was to assume the status of nominee. But I also do understand the point Anna is trying to make in that the people in the room, not on TV, were the ones she was speaking to, and that they probably needed to hear that speech.

I do agree with Neponset though that like Dean, she chose to not think through the national TV implications perhaps (only perhaps) to her long term detriment.

by wasder 2008-06-04 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: i don't disagree with some of your points

There's a difference between letting her supporters know that they did all they could and that she values their hard work, and continuing to imply that the nomination has been stolen from her.

by sneakers563 2008-06-04 08:23AM | 0 recs
wrong

This wasnt for anybody but the people who were there.

The diarist is completely right in his perspective.

If you were there you would understand, but sitting at home watching on tv is different.

I was there. It was her night with her supporters. She spoke to us, and we gave her the love she needed and deserved.

We werent there for the you or for Obama.

Most of us knew this was her last Hurrah, and thats what it was. Get over yourself.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 07:28AM | 0 recs
"her" perspective actually

;^)

got pics from the event?  i'd love to see them.

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: "her" perspective actually

yes - well, they are kinda shitty, they are from my cell phone.

But will upload asap.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 09:22AM | 0 recs
that'd be great

drop a link here when you're done. =)

by annatopia 2008-06-04 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: wrong

My guy won.  I am totally over it.  I just wish Clinton and her supporters would stop being so sensitive and focus on what is truly important, winning in November.

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-04 07:37AM | 0 recs
99% of them will

but realistically, it won't happen overnight for many of them.

i was distraught over dean's loss in 04 and it took me months before i was fully onboard with team kerry.  but once there i worked my butt off and was extremely disappointed with his loss.  

i know most of hillary's supporters will be with us, and i welcome them to heal at their own pace and get onboard when they are ready.

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: wrong

yes he did win.

You are right?

But what is your point exactly?

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: wrong

Probably shouldn't have been on national TV then.

by wasder 2008-06-04 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: wrong

Come on, I wasn't there and had to watch it on tv. It was very helpful to me and I am certain, helpful to many of the other 18 million people who voted for Hillary.

by Hollede 2008-06-04 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: wrong

Fair enough, but then its an almost impossible balancing act for her.

by wasder 2008-06-05 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

There comes a time when you have to, at the very least, say that we all have to come together and support the nominee.

The night you secure enough delegates to win is supposed to be your night. Hillary turned Obama's night into a night where everyone was talking about her, and that's why there are a lot of befuddled, flabbergasted and surprised people.

by TCQuad 2008-06-04 07:29AM | 0 recs
I suspect that will repeat

Even when she concedes he is the nominee, people will still be upset. Why? Because she has a large presence. She is a big personality. She is an icon and a leader.

This will make for an awkward summer and few years because IMO she is a giant in American politics right now and it is hard for her to stand there without people noticing her.

by catfish2 2008-06-04 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect that will repeat

True enough, but her gigantic status is precisely why she bears a special responsibility in the two way street of party unity.  Her true supporters will be better able to put the pieces back together when they get reality based signals from their own candidate.  This writing has been on the wall since February and that can't be ignored.  I can see continuing the brave face as the remaining contests go on, but she knew that she had lost by the time she walked on stage after having been announced as "The Next President of the United States."  That's really pushing things.

We all saw the graciousness of Obama last night.  That isn't something new.  he has been saying those things for quite some time now.  The hand has been extended for a long time and it still hasn't been enthusiastically grasped and the symbolic meaning of that is not lost to many of us.    

Regarding comments up the thread... There is no way in the world that that speech can be seen as something only for supporters.  The speech was conceived, written, and delivered with the full knowledge that it would be seen nationally and carefully analysed for its content and message.  Any suggestion otherwise...well...

by oliver cromwell 2008-06-04 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

Hillary won over half of the registered democrats, she and those who voted for her didn't take time from Obama, they took time they deserved for themselves.  You people cannnot stand to have anything but all the focus, and you think you are deserving of a hundred percent of it even though you were only half of the story.

by Scotch 2008-06-04 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

Mojo, rec, hope you're right.

by the mollusk 2008-06-04 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

I agree completely.

by Liame 2008-06-04 07:20AM | 0 recs
I was there last night too

I totally agree with you here.

I said much the same thing in response to the dairy "What a Night" below.

In my opinion, Hillary did EXACTLY what she needed to do last night.

She will share a stage somewhere with Obama soon and throw her full weight behind him and the drive to put a Democrat back in the White House.

UNITY!

by twinmom 2008-06-04 07:21AM | 0 recs
you were there in the room?

fantastic! congrats on witnessing history.  personally - with the exception of the "Stay the course" line - I loved her speech.  i even found myself choking up just a bit, so i can only imagine what all of you must've felt.

you should be proud of that campaign!  

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:28AM | 0 recs
Yes, it was incredible

The city I love (I've lived here 15 years).

The party I love (I've always been a Democrat).

The candidate I believe in.

The media really did a disservice (not surprising) to what Hillary's message was last night. She hit exactly the right cord. Last night wasn't all about Obama, that will happen at the convention. This moment is for closing up the primary season and celebrating these 2 incredible candidates.

She and her supporters should not be shoved aside for the sake of unity. This is the Democratic Party... and she's got the support of 1/2 the voters who voted.

Anyone who doesn't understand that doesn't see how much healing needs to happen for the Democrats to win a landslide in November. I don't want to win this in a squeaker, I want a mandate!

For that to happen, there is much work to be done.

I believe both Obama and Clinton know that. They will meet, they will plan, they will unite and we will win this.

by twinmom 2008-06-04 07:46AM | 0 recs
i am in complete agreement

hillary doesn't deserve the trashing she's getting from the MSM.  at all.  she did that speech for YOU not the media.

and i know that there are folks on the blogs this morning who are just as boggled over her lack of concession, but whatever. don't listen to them.  just keep holding your head high and know that you guys broke so many barriers.  be proud, hold last night in your heart, and then let's get together and CRUSH mccain.

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: i am in complete agreement

I think we all agree that she made a good speech vis a vis her supporters. The choice to do it when she knew everyone was watching and analyzing her words is the thing that could have been better planned and thought through.

by wasder 2008-06-04 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: I was there last night too

tips for being there! It was great!!! i was there as well.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

You think she "had" to give a campaign speech when the campaign was over? Ok.

So, then Barack Obama failed his supporters last night by not going into excruciating detail over how he'd toppled the Clinton dynasty, overcome her 100+ superdelegate lead, and so on?

Serious question. You think that's the case?

No one is saying that she has to come out sobbing with her head held low. Or even endorse Obama at all. But to not acknowledge that he'd won when everyone else did - and I'm not talking about the media, but rather some of her own supers who switched yesterday and acknowledged that fact in their statements - is an insult.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 07:21AM | 0 recs
sorry, i don't understand your point

you seem really mad that she didn't conceed.  that's ok.  you can feel whatever you want.

but you also have to acknowledge that hillary's supporters can feel however they want right now, too.  and i am sure i know what they were feeling last night.  i think she did what she needed to do, and i cna't fault her for that.

mark my words, by the end of the week she'll be sharing a stage with obama somewhere and we'll all be moving forward TOGETHER.

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: sorry, i don't understand your point

I really, seriously, and truly hope you are right.  The unity needs to come sooner rather than later.  We'll just see what actually happens.

by oliver cromwell 2008-06-04 09:15AM | 0 recs
hope is not a bad thing =)

by annatopia 2008-06-04 09:19AM | 0 recs
Thats what it was

You are exactly right.

I was there too. It was a fun, long ride. And the last hurrah was where she needed it to be, at home in NYC.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 07:30AM | 0 recs
i sincerely hope

that you got what you needed from the event.  i know that on that cold night in january, we needed howard to come out there and make it all ok.  and for me, he did.  i hope you feel the same after last night.

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:33AM | 0 recs
i'm not a wreck over it

I am happy with Hillary and am Hillary's man through and through.

She lost. To me its not the end of the world.

But seriously, some people on here are acting a bit ridiculous. Like only their opinion matters because Obama won. Well fuck that.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 09:27AM | 0 recs
you're stronger than me, then

i was an utter mess after dean imploded.  i envy your ability to bounce back =)

by annatopia 2008-06-04 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

Totall agree.  If she had quit last night the crowd would have been very upset and some things would have been yelled by the crowd that would have ended up on TV.  BO supporters might consider that.  She has to withdraw at a news conference not at a campaign rally where it was just shown that she won SD.  If the crowded starting booing it would be on a GOP ad all summer and we would be hearing how this was HRC fault.  Just something to consider.

david

by giusd 2008-06-04 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

Great diary! I totally agree and actually told my mother (an Obama supporter) the same thing last night after all of the speeches. I actually think she is trying to do her part to reunify the party and get him elected. I know if she had conceeded last night, the anger that felt by many of her supporters might not be healed.

I was actually a Jesse Jackson delegate to the 1988 North Dakota state convention and I started as an Obama supporter after his '04 speech. However, as I began watching the debates in Iowa I realized that she would actually make a better candidate and a better president. After New Hampshire this support hardened and even began turning to anger as I began to realize what the Obama (campaign/supporters?) were doing to the Clintons. Top alll of that off with what the media has done to her and this anger turned to rage. But I am a realist and have known for a month or so that she could not win. I have been grieving and healing. I am not so sure that others have come this far. Last night I watched all of the speeches and at the end of it all I stood up and cheered for the next president of the United States of America and told my TV that I will work very hard for Senator Obama.

Please give Hillary and her supprters some dignity. She has earned it to be sure.

by Hollede 2008-06-04 07:33AM | 0 recs
thank you so much

i agree with your remarks on dignity, to be sure.

and i am so glad that you are here with us today.  we will all be stronger in november because of this primary.

now let's go CRUSH mccain!

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: thank you so much

You are welcome.

by Hollede 2008-06-04 08:15AM | 0 recs
It's fine

Nothing Clinton has done that's been viewed as bad during the primary will be remembered by anyone but pundits, Washington insiders, and history books if she ends up doing the right thing and works to unite her supporters behind the nominee before the Convention.

I actually like the fact that all three players in our macabre dance got airtime last night; it made the whole thing more epic... with McCain and Clinton getting their moments, and then Obama busting out with a barn-burner of a speech that truly detailed both the strength of his Democratic opposition and the weakness of the Republican opposition.

As if he were saying, "Hey, I beat Hillary Clinton, and she's ten times the candidate you are, John.  Let's rumble."

So... I'm fine with Hillary taking last night for her supporters.  They've all earned it.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-04 07:39AM | 0 recs
yes yes yes

to everything in your 2nd paragraph.  the contrast between the two camps (dem/repub) could not have been more clear.

john mccain looks like an amateur compared to clinton and obama.  he is going to LOSE HIS ASS this november.  

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:41AM | 0 recs
It's true

There could be a time in our not-too-distant future that this primary was considered to be more important than the general election, and McCain will float to the side of history as this decade's Bob Dole.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-04 07:46AM | 0 recs
funny you mention dole

because last night after he was done speaking i turned to the hubby and said, "hey, it's john mcdole!"  just another token republican opposition running against a dem who is going to crush him.  

and although mccain is indeed running for bush's 3rd term (no matter how many lies he tossed out last night), he reminds me more of dole than bush.

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:59AM | 0 recs
John McCain!

John McCain is his own man!

John McCain doesn't appreciate being compared to that loser!

John McCain is a strong candidate!

John McCain...

John Mc...

zzzzzz

by Dracomicron 2008-06-04 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: It's true

not on my watch. There will be an Obama White House followed the return of HIllary Rodham Clinton. Aided and abbetted by Barack Obama the first African American President who will swear HRC in Jan 09,2016. 16 year majority is what  I am all about starting today.

by Iceblinkjm 2008-06-04 08:43AM | 0 recs
Cannot thank you enough anna

for this diary. I was surprised to see you backing Obama this time as I remembered you as a Dean supporter (as was I - and I saw Hillary as more Dean-like than Obama but not all did.)

Seriously, this diary and other statements by Obama supporters will make tremendous strides towards party unity.

(BTW I met you briefly in NY during the 2004 Repub convention, but your head was buried in your laptop you were busy blogging. I think you are the same person.)

Thanks again.

by catfish2 2008-06-04 07:45AM | 0 recs
hey catfish

first off let me say i am sorry for any of the TRs i've dished to you these past few weeks.  i am SO GLAD to be past this damn primary season.  i want all of us to come together now because we are one big dysfunctional family, but we need to win in november.

now i'll tell you, obama was not my first choice.  in fact, i found it REALLY hard to committ this year.  i didn't get on the obama bus until it was down to him and hillary (i was team edwards before he dropped - explain that one! lol).  for me, it was a process thing. i do see hillary as being a champion for many of the causes dean tried to speak to.  but i just really am amazed at obama's campaign strategy - fighting in every state and every district is really important to me (cause i live in "red" america).  i didn't see hillary doing that, and ultimately that's what put me on team obama.  but please, don't take that as an insult to team hill. it's just my opinion.

ah the summer of 04... i've got some pics up on my flickr.  are you in any of these??  scroll down the sets page and i've got the NYC events in their own albums.  i'll bet you're in there somewhere =)

http://flickr.com/photos/annatopia/sets/

by annatopia 2008-06-04 07:56AM | 0 recs
I probably deserved them

(the TR's.) No hard feelings at all. Seriously I hope this diary is cross-posted to big orange.

I'm running to work and will check out your flickr feed there.

by catfish2 2008-06-04 07:58AM | 0 recs
no worries

and yea it's crossed posted over there.  getting a mixed reception, and that's ok.  i just kinda felt real strongly about this perspective and posted it anyway. =)

by annatopia 2008-06-04 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

So far the sentiments from Obama supporters seem split. There are some very sincere and understanding Obama supporters who are being very gracious in victory. However, some are continuing an appalling vicious campaign against Hillary. Why on earth would they do this? I know this has been a very passionate and heated primary, but the poison from both sides is really disgusting and will not win us the presidency. I can barely watch mainstream news anymore and have even begun to avoid blogs like mydd because of the hate and animosity that I've been seeing. I had to turn the TV off after BO's speech, because after a rather pleasant and bittersweet day of watching politics, the vitriol started again from the talking bobble heads. I started hearing how she was the only blot on this historic day.

About two months ago I told close friends that if, God forbid, anything happened to BO, that everyone would blame Hillary. It was a sick joke (I was part of the hatefest, you see) but this am I saw Joe Madison from XM radio say, and I quote, "If she becomes the running mate, he'd better hire a food taster".

This has got to stop.

by Hollede 2008-06-04 07:52AM | 0 recs
agreed

frankly, my advice is to ignore those folks.  let them rant and rail.  ignore it.

focus on what's best about this party and what's best about this historic primary.  and screw joe madison.  who the hell is he anyway? and screw the bobbleheads.  most of them are worthless tools anyway.

by annatopia 2008-06-04 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: agreed

I know, I have pretty much stopped watching them. However, my mother and millions of others do watch them and repeat the this sort of crap. Ah, maybe not the poisoning thing, but all of the other nonsense. I do believe the MSM has a tremendous amount of influence on our politics. Perhaps we are beginning to change this, but I want an accounting of them. They will do the same thing to Obama. You know, the Democrat rules and the Repug rules. I've watched too many elections where the media has handed the election to the repugs. In fact the only candidate that has been able to overcome this in my adult life was Bill Clinton.

I think Obama has a real shot. He is one of the most amazing and intelligent candidates I have ever seen (The healing actually worked), and McSame is one of the worst. But, and this is a very important but, McSame is favored by the MSM.

Maybe my tagline should be "destroy the corporate media, take our country back!"

by Hollede 2008-06-04 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

I never would have thought of it that way.  Great diary.  We'll see what happens in the next few days.  I hope you are right and this goes gracefully.  That wasn't my impression after last night, but what you wrote makes a lot of sense.

by proseandpromise 2008-06-04 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Perspective on Hillary's Speech

Thanks for a great diary. I find it really puzzling that many Obama supporters on here are jumping on any positive diary about Hillary today and throwing around things like "why didn't she concede?", or "it's aaaaalll about Hillary", or even worse things. Thankfully they represent a small minority of the people who never liked her anyway.

I've also been very glad to see many more Obama supporters realizing and acknowledging Hillary's speech for what it was -- the beginning of a coda for her supporters. They deserve their time as well in this closely-fought election. And no, Monday was not the the time to do it as the primaries weren't over.

Thank you again for a great diary. I'm sure everyone eventually will get on board.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 08:01AM | 0 recs
hey guys

i am stepping out to grab lunch but will check comments when i get back

by annatopia 2008-06-04 08:08AM | 0 recs
pics

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: pics

i dont know why the first one is so much larger than the others. but those are some pics

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 09:40AM | 0 recs
here's s'more

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I was off center to her right

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-04 09:44AM | 0 recs
those are actually really cool

i like the first set because it shows the energy in the room.  everything moving, swaying, etc... brilliant.  i'm so happy for you that you got to be there.  treasure that memory. =)

by annatopia 2008-06-04 11:16AM | 0 recs

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