Senator Clinton’s Night at the Convention

Looking and sounding presidential, as one of her delegates remarked, it was clearly Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s night to shine.  And shine she did.  While there were a number of excellent speeches delivered during the course of the evening, Senator Clinton was clearly the main act, eclipsing even former Virginia Governor Mark Warner who delivered a solid, but not a particularly moving keynote address.

Senator Clinton’s speech sounded like a State of the Union address.  She thanked her 18 million supporters, and reflected on the many struggling Americans she met on the campaign trail who have been ignored for the last 8 years.  She laid out the problems facing the country and her vision for the future, endorsing Barak Obama as the leader who will “revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America and meet the global challenges of our time”.  Careful to remind America of her husband’s legacy, she said that “Democrats know how to do this..we’ve done it before with President Clinton and the Democrats”.  Speaking directly to her supporters, she urged them to consider an America with McCain at the helm:  “higher gas prices”, a failing economy with “more debt and home foreclosures”, “less affordable health care”, a privatized social security system, a “headlocked Supreme Court” and four more years of the last 8 years with “more war and less diplomacy”.

Will Clinton supporters vote for Obama in the end?  There is evidence that some may not vote at all.  After Senator Clinton’s address, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux interviewed an emotional and devoted Clinton supporter and delegate from Texas who suggested it would be difficult for her to vote for Obama because she does not yet feel connected to him.  There is still time.  Senator Clinton has passed the baton and it is now Senator Obama’s turn to run the anchor leg and bring home the gold.

Text of Senator Clinton’s Convention Speech