by Firewall, Tue Jun 03, 2008 at 09:18:32 PM EDT
I've been thinking about tonight. One thing that struck me in Clinton's speech was how much of it was spent focusing on her, the issues she fought for, and the people who voted for her, whom she stated wanted their voices to be heard, and so forth.
Given that, there was very little mention of Obama (she mentioned him at the start), and, if I recall correctly, almost none of McCain. In other words, she didn't acknowledge Obama as the D nominee, nor John McCain as the R nominee. There was very little mention of the fact that the primaries had ended, and the general election would follow; that she and her supporters (not to mention the country) would soon have to choose between Barack Obama and John McCain. She /did/ emphasize her strengths as a candidate, the number of people who voted for her, and the issues she deemed important and defining of her as a candidate in the race.
Now, this isn't a criticism (or perhaps it is, but that's not my focus yet), but it did perhaps illustrate her strategy for the VP slot, presuming it's what she's campaigning for.
The way I see it, there were two ways she could have gone tonight. At least two. Let's stick with two.
1. Focus on her strengths as a candidate and the people who voted for her, tacitly implying those behind her would support her in whatever she chose to do, and that there were lots of them.
2. Focus on Obama as the nominee and McCain as the enemy, illustrating the differences between both candidates and the urgent need to elect the former, and not the latter, while pledging her support in the upcoming battle and calling for cohesion among her supporters and Obama's.
Being a supporter of Obama, I'd have preferred for her to do the second. But being an analyst of her VP prospects, it seems she clearly chose the first option, which meant she judged that as the option more likely to win her the VP slot.
In other words, she chose to project herself as someone with a huge fan club (half of the Democratic party), whose conditional support could be guaranteed with her positioning in the Vice Presidency. The alternative would have been to present herself as a loyal attack dog and unity-builder who would simultaneously defend Obama and strike McCain from here to November if her conditions (the Vice Presidency) were met.
Time will tell if her choosing the first strategy over the second pays off. This, of course, is merely one way of analyzing her speech tonight under the assumption of her desiring the Vice Presidency. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts. It's not a pro-or-anti-Clinton diary as much as a discussion on how she could best achieve the VP, presuming an interest in it.