What a Night

Last night was historic on more than one occasion. I got a glimpse of what the coming months will be like. Sen. Obama will lead the Democratic Party with honor and he has earned it. Sen. McCain, the Republican's last, best hope to hold on to any semblance of power in Washington, understands the magnitude of the challenge ahead of him. The battle lines are drawn, and we're about to rumble. You think the last five months have been rough? Well, get ready for the sequel.

First, I was sorely disappointed with the media in general. This was going to be Senator Obama's night, regardless of what Sen. Clinton did. Up to the end, I was disappointed at the way the media handled the events of the day. Breathlessly speculating that Clinton would drop out in exchange for a private assurance that she would be V.P. Donna Brazile (she of the `Obama reach out with an olive branch of splitting Michigan 50-50 and the Clinton folks slapped it away' nonsense) tsk-tsking that `she was disappointed' Clinton didn't concede to her liking. Keith Olbermann taking great pains to point out whenever he could that Sen. Clinton :: gasp :: did not concede! Roland Martin shaking his head in the background whenever Sen. Clinton's name was spoken. Howard Fineman spinning circles around even himself engaging in the most high-flying speculation that I've ever seen (`Clinton doesn't really want to be V.P., but I have it on super-secret Democratic Clinton sources that she wants to be offered the position just to turn around and throw it in his face!'). Get a grip, Howard, for your own good. This kind of nonsense is exactly why the media is the least trusted institution in the country today.

Second, I thought Senator Obama's speech was one of the finest of the campaign. Without a doubt, this was his night. I was actually driving back from a friend's house in the rain and caught all of it on the radio. You know, even on the radio, I could picture him up on the podium, literally living history. He took great pains to go out of his way to effusively praise Sen. Clinton and her supporters. Very classy. If it's not to be Hillary, I am very happy that it is to be Sen. Obama. He proved again tonight why he has earned the support and respect of millions across the country, and why he will be a formidable candidate in November.

Third, all the media nonsense about Clinton not conceding tonight was utter nonsense. Basically what was being said/implied is "Both have run an extremely close, hard-fought campaign, but only Sen. Obama gets to celebrate. Sen. Clinton should say a few words and bow out immediately." Give me a break. Both campaigns were historic. Senator Clinton and her supporters deserve the right to `have their own day' as well. I suspect it will be today or tomorrow, but it will be this week. I fully understand her rationale for wanting to give her supporters due credit. She deserves to go out center stage, not as a side show to Obama's well-earned victory night. She has been an inspiration in her own right, and I fully believe her when she says she will do whatever she can to help unite the Democratic Party.

It was a hell of a night, and I'm still taking it all in. I'm also very, very proud to be a Democrat.

Tags: clinton, Media, obama (all tags)

Comments

47 Comments

The problem with Hillary's speech

wasn't a failure to concede... but a failure to face reality. A continued attack on the nominee and no mention on the only opponent left in this race... John McCain.

by Tatan 2008-06-04 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

Sorry, Sen. Clinton didn't attack Sen. Obama. In fact she praised him.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

Exactly. If she wants a moment to herself and her supporters, great. But to repeat campaign talking points when the campaign is over, and to show NO attention to the Republican opponent...that's an insult.

"Congrats, Barack, on your campaign (not your achievement or victory, mind you)...now let me spend the next 10 minutes explaining why I really won and why I'm the best."

Very tacky.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

She never said that. I'm sorry her speech didn't live up to your expectations. She need only live up to her own and that of her supporters.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

She didn't say that?

Her exact words were:

"I want to start tonight by congratulating Senator Obama and his supporters on the extraordinary race that they have run..."

No congratulations on his victory in Montana. No congratulations on him becoming the presumptive nominee.

Then, she follows it up with:

"Who will be ready to take back the White House and take charge as Commander-in-Chief and lead our country to better tomorrows? People in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the territories, all had a chance to make your voices heard and on Election Day after Election Day, you came out in record numbers to cast your ballots. Nearly eighteen million of you cast your votes for our campaign, carrying the popular vote with more votes than any primary candidate in history. Even when the pundits and the naysayers proclaimed week after week that this race was over, you kept on voting."

Putting aside the blatant mendacity here, it's absurd to make a speech about this the same night we get a nominee. If we have a nominee, and you are still asking "Who will better be able to...," that is an insult.

No two ways about it.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

She didn't say what you said. She congratulated Senator Obama and made the case as to why she thinks she would be the stronger nominee. It's not an insult but a coda to her campaign and the half of the Democratic Party who agreed with it.

Don't get too worked up about it, I'm sure a gracious speech which is more up to your standards will be coming up in the next few days.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

Just to be clear here, I cut and pasted her words from the transcript.

Your response is "She didn't say what you said."

Think about that for a sec.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

Think about what you just said in the original comment I replied to:

"Congrats, Barack, on your campaign (not your achievement or victory, mind you)...now let me spend the next 10 minutes explaining why I really won and why I'm the best."

Did she say that? No. Show me a transcript that she said what you said in your quotes. Give me a break. I was referring to that. That's what you said.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

If you want to time her follow-up comments, I'm sure you'll come up with a number of minutes other than 10.

And of course, that is the most irrelevant part of my point.

The point is - not for 10 hours, not for 10 minutes, not for 10 seconds - do you ever, ever make a campaign speech when the campaign is over and fail to acknowledge your opponent winning.

Veeeery low class.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Hillary's speech

Still not acknowledging that you said that? Fine. Have a great day.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 10:07AM | 0 recs
Neat diary

..tho I disagree with your take on Howard Fineman's comment. The offer/refuse VP dance is a really common one. It shows respect both ways, actually.

I personally do not see how it would work for Clinton to take a secondary role (and Obama can't go for the Cheney model of VP if he is to be respected as the leader). Hillary and Bill are both bigtime leaders. They are not followers.

So, I hope there is a great role in store in which Hillary can lead with all her talents (Senate majority leader, Supreme Court Justice, Sec of State, etc.)

by rhetoricus 2008-06-04 06:38AM | 0 recs
By the end of the summer

It's not going to matter that Hillary chose not to officially concede last night.  Obama is going to be very strong against McCain in every region of the country and by the time we come out of the convention, it's going to start to look like a joke.  

There are so many possibilities for the party to capitalize on the tensions that have built up.  There is some potent speculation, much more realistic than the VP thing that Hillary will be offered a significant role in taking on the issue of health care either in the cabinet or as the leader in the legislature.  

Every time there is a moment of cooperation between either of the Clintons and Barack Obama, it will be widely reported precisely because of the tensions that have built up over the past year.  Every time it happens it will be good for Democrats and good for the platform.  

Bill Clinton, as ex-Prez has done some good work in terms of helping Africa.  Picture him doing what he has been doing but with a friend in the White House.  And Obama really can and should be that.  

There should be some awesome speeches at the convention, that's for sure.  

by Sun Dog 2008-06-04 06:39AM | 0 recs
I'm very glad I missed all of it.

I had a charmed day yesterday, fortuitously catching a bus with my friends on it, getting a good spot in line, and being there in the Xcell Energy Center with Barack as history was being made.

I missed all the media coverage and I don't miss it one bit.  I'm sure I'll get to see them clutching at pearls tonight and for the next five months.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-04 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Obama's speech was awesome.

Was disappointed that Hillary had such a meaningless event last night, she couldn't have waited another day to give that speech?  Let us savor the moment of a minority nomination victory, without her me, me, me.

News Media has been terrible, and will continue to be terrible.

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.

by Tumult 2008-06-04 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

If she didn't come out last night, the media angle on it would have been 'oh, why isn't she saying anything? Why is she all by herself alone and not congratulating Obama? Why is she being so selfish?'

It's always lose-lose with her.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Nope. Not buying it. A short and simple congratulations to him for being the nominee would be great, THEN dispense with the campaign talking points, say you're going to take a few days to get yourself together, and that's it.

Grace.

Class.

Brevity.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Sorry her speech didn't live up to your standards. I thought it was first and foremost a tribute to her supporters.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

I think all anyone wanted or asked for here is an acknowledgment that the race is over, and that Barack Obama is the winner as it stands now. At the very, very minimum, we probably would've liked her to drop the BS campaign lines like "I'm the winner of the popular vote" that inspire her supporters to continue the rhetorical fight in her stead and cast doubt on the nomination process itself. She did neither of those things, and that's why there's widespread disappointment over what she said.

I am very, very scared that she's gearing up to continue this fight. I hope I've underestimated her graciousness, though.

by authority song 2008-06-04 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

No need to be scared, you have underestimated her graciousness.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

I certainly hope you're right. Last night didn't do much to assuage my fears.

by authority song 2008-06-04 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Very nice speech. I'll give props where it is due. I really liked the bit about Hillary doing what no women has done before. Very Star Trek.

by Iceblinkjm 2008-06-04 06:51AM | 0 recs
I was at the Hillary Clinton rally

Like Dracomicron (above post) I was happily in my own bubble away from the media buzz and talking heads blathering on and on.

The media doesn't know what the heck it is talking about. I was there, in that room with her most ardent supporters... celebrating her and her historic run and what it has meant to the millions who voted for her and believed her to be the best candidate. People know that this is over. Yes, there are hard feelings, anger, sadness, open wounds... but the hardliners / deadenders / Hillary-or-nobody voters were few and far between (I maybe talked to 2 or 3). These people are DEMOCRATS through and through. Do they think that the best candidate won, no. But they know he won.

I absolutely guarantee that we will see Clinton on a stage somewhere with Obama very soon... endorsing his candidacy and throwing the weight of her support behind getting a Democrat back in the White House. There is no doubt.

There was absolutely no reason that had to happen last night... give her some space and some time. It took Edwards months to endorse. Allow her the same respect.

UNITY!

by twinmom 2008-06-04 07:00AM | 0 recs
Did we see you on tv?

I loved her speech. One of her best this whole season - she was relaxed, emphatic, sincere.

by catfish2 2008-06-04 07:02AM | 0 recs
She was basking in the love

I don't know if I was on TV... most likely I was. It was like walking into MSNBC and CNN literally... all of 25th street was filled with news wagons... and the bank of cameras and press inside was enormous.

Andrea Mitchell was 2 feet away from me, as was Cindy Crowley. Everybody involved in the Clinton campaign was there, up close and personal... all her biggest supporters. I spoke for a few minutes with Terry MacAuliffe... I shook hands with Chelsea and Bill and got to clasp both Hillary's hands in mine while we looked eye-to-eye and I thanked her and she thanked me. It was amazing. I'm so glad I went... how could I resist, it was a 10 min subway ride!

by twinmom 2008-06-04 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: I was at the Hillary Clinton rally

Gah...no one is saying she had to endorse.

But it is disrespectful to not acknowledge that he is the nominee.

Everyone else does. For her to purposefully not say those words, and then to repeat the same tired talking points against Obama (I won the popular vote, more people have blah blah blah...) is tacky.

When the campaign ends, the time for campaign speeches is over.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: I was at the Hillary Clinton rally

Don't worry, I'm sure a speech more to you and the media's satisfaction is upcoming in the next few days.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I was at the Hillary Clinton rally

At this point, I don't care. She's already burned the party bridges. I'm stunned and disappointed that she blew her major chance.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: I was at the Hillary Clinton rally

Fair enough. Though I highly suspect she didn't have much of a chance in your eyes anyway.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: I was at the Hillary Clinton rally

I'll believe it when I see it!

by LordMike 2008-06-04 07:17AM | 0 recs
Her speech was great

I am a Clinton supporter and it did not sound to me like she was dissing Obama. I get that Obama is the nominee.

She did what everybody should do - highlighted what she accomplished in the campaign. She won the popular vote.

Studies show that when women highlight their accomplishments people react negatively, but when men do, they tend to earn admiration from listeners. Maybe that's to explain the varied reactions to her speech.

by catfish2 2008-06-04 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Her speech was great

"Studies show?"

I guess that's an improvement over "Some people say" as far as absurd talking point intros go.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 07:06AM | 0 recs
Here is one

Butler, Doré and Florence L. Geis. "Nonverbal Affect Responses to Male and Female Leaders: Implications for Leadership Evaluations." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 58 (1990): 48-59.
Available online

Notes: Negative facial reactions to assertive women in a group problem solving session; women perceived negatively when they show leadership.

Abstract: Tests the hypothesis that female leaders would elicit more negative nonverbal affect responses from other group members than male leaders offering the same initiatives. Male and female subjects participated in 4-person discussions in which male or female confederates assumed leadership. During the discussion subjects' nonverbal affect responses to the confederates were coded from behind one-way mirrors. Female leaders received more negative affect responses and fewer positive responses than men offering the same suggestions and arguments. Female leaders received more negative than positive responses, in contrast to men, who received at least as many positive as negative responses. The data demonstrate a concrete social mechanism known to cause devaluation of leadership, and thus support a more social interpretation of female leadership evaluations, in contrast to previous interpretations based on private perceptual bias.

by catfish2 2008-06-04 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Here is one

It's a good thing only men are making this case!

by Reeves 2008-06-04 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Her speech was great

She did not win the popular vote.  She lost in every scenario but one, the one where Obama got no votes in MI.

by LordMike 2008-06-04 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Clinton could have made this speech on Monday.  If, as you suggest, the speech was made to thank her supporters then there was no need for it to be done on the same night Obama became the first African American to be the presumptive nominee of major political party in the US.   The media was right to call her on her speech. It was poorly timed and didn't help the party at all.

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-04 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Sorry her speech didn't live up to your expectations, but this wasn't about Hillary. This was about Obama, and he got the night he deserved. Though I'm sure she can't do anything to please you at this point, she'll give a concession speech soon enough.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Oh, no...her speech was aaaaaaaaaall about Hillary.

Her campaign is aaaaaaaaaaall about Hillary. Hence the situation she finds herself in.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Sorry you feel that way. 18 million people don't agree with you though.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Unless you wrote the speech there is no need for you to apologize.  

There certainly is something she can do to please me.  She could concede that she has lost the nomination and suspend her campaign.  She could also drop out of the VP race.  She could also tell her supporters that they need to support Obama because it is the right thing to do.  She could also stop campaigning for the nomination.   All of those things would make me happy.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-04 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

I'm glad she gave the speech she did. You obviously don't support her, hence, she wasn't talking to you. Her speech was meant for her supporters on a night of a win. If you don't approve, that's all fine and good, but the speech wasn't meant for you. It was meant for her supporters.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

The idea that a nationally televised speech on the day Obama clinches the nomination was only for her supporters is hard to believe.  Did she expect the rest of us to flip on the Red Sox game while she was speaking?

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-04 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Again, you obviously don't support her, so you don't understand. Why should she give her supporters any short thrift and step on Obama's night? It was obviously his night to win. He did so. She'll have her day to officially bow out. I understand that you're not happy with her and are outraged with her speech. That's fine. I've said my piece, you've said yours. I'm not going to convince you, you're not going to convince me. This is one of those agree to disagree. Good day.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Damn, VAAlex. you're awesome. I just read through all the comments and I wanted to give you a shout out. You are spot on.

defending her honor right til the very end, you are too smooth.

by alyssa chaos 2008-06-04 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

As somebody who was a bit miffed by the tone of her speech last night, I have to say that this diary and the one by Annatopia above have really helped me put her behavior into perspective. OF course she and her supporters deserve a chance to celebrate the victories that they achieved. It is sort of a shame that it had to come on the same night as Barack's big moment, but it did make for great political theater. And the media talking heads were really savage to her last night.

by wasder 2008-06-04 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Yes, sterling defense:

Dissenter: "I think Hillary blew it because of these reasons:

-She didn't acknowledge the candidate who'd won.
-She didn't congratulate him on any of his achievements (She specifically said "for the campaign he ran").
-She didn't take advantage of the largest television audience she would have for the rest of the year to unite the party.
-She didn't take on McCain, the opponent of the party.

  • She repeated campaign talking points against a Democrat when the campaign was over, thereby diminishing his victory.
  • etc., etc.

VAAlex: "Well, I'm sorry she didn't live up to your expectations. Let's agree to disagree."

DISSENTER: "Well, what about the specific points I made up there. care to address them?"

VAAlex: "Obviously nothing she would say would be enough for you..."

Repeat 20 times. That's this thread.

by Reeves 2008-06-04 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Reeves, Reeves,

dont be jealous alright. when you make a kickass diary I'll go and comment on it too. I might even say a nice thing about you too.

by alyssa chaos 2008-06-04 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Night

Unlike you, I know how to win -- and lose -- gratefully. It's a lesson you might be well advised to learn. You seem to be missing your own points, though. Have a great day -- as an Obama supporter you have earned it.

by VAAlex 2008-06-04 10:09AM | 0 recs

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