Tonight Hillary Clinton shifted the conversation from I support Barack Obama to telling her supporters why they need to support Obama. Mrs. Clinton gave a stirring speech which served as both a great end to her presidential campaign, and a new beginning to her supporters’ relationship with the Democratic nominee.
Mrs. Clinton launched right in to appealing to her supporters for Obama, “My friends, it is time to take back the country we love. Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines. This is a fight for the future. And it’s a fight we must win.”
She continued, “I haven’t spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women’s rights at home and around the world . . . to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people. And you haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership. No way. No how. No McCain. Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our President.”
Hillary Clinton asked her supporters why they were involved with the campaign, “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?”
She also pressed the case for Obama, “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.”
John McCain was not spared, “Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend. He has served our country with honor and courage. But we don’t need four more years . . . of the last eight years. More economic stagnation …and less affordable health care. More high gas prices …and less alternative energy. More jobs getting shipped overseas …and fewer jobs created here. More skyrocketing debt …home foreclosures …and mounting bills that are crushing our middle class families. More war . . . less diplomacy. More of a government where the privileged come first …and everyone else comes last.”
She didn’t forget to link Bush and McCain, “John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn’t think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks its okay when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work. With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart.”
This was a fantastic speech. She really could not have done more. If her supporters still won’t get behind Obama, there is probably nothing short of her going door to door to convince her supporters to vote Obama that will convince them. This speech makes John McCain’s recent ads courting Hillary Clinton’s supporters look like a waste of money. Hillary did what was expected of her, now our attention turns to the real wild card of the convention, President Bill Clinton.